This vegetable packed soup is full of nutrition and a perfect dish to eat on its own with some crackers for lunch. Or serve it for dinner with some good bread and a tossed salad. For a nice touch serve with Parmesan Crisps. I have included two recipes, one which is all Parmesan cheese and very crispy and the other is from Weight Watcher’s and uses mozarella plus Parmesan and is on the chewy side.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped (do not peel)
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced (or use 1/2-1 tsp. minced garlic in a jar)
- 2 (14.5 oz.) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
- sprinkle of fresh parsley, minced or use dried
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced or use 1/2 tsp. dried
- 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 cup green cabbage, slivered and chopped (remove outer leaves and hard core)
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can green beans, drained and chopped
- 1 (46 oz.) can Campbell’s tomato juice, or spice it up and use V8 juice
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
- Parmesan rind (if you have it)
- add some pesto for a different twist
Saute the onions, celery, carrots and zucchini in a little oil for about 5 minutes in a large stock pot. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the canned tomatoes, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Add 3 quarts of water, bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes, with lid on, stirring occasionally.
Add cabbage, green beans, tomato juice and macaroni. Simmer 30 more minutes. If you have a parmesan rind (from a chunk of fresh parmesan cheese) add this now as well. You may need to add more tomato juice or water if the soup is too thick.
- 2 oz. fresh Parmesan, coarsely shredded (3/4 cup – be sure it is not grated)
- fresh thyme, minced (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray, unless it is a good teflon coated baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese into small squares and bake 5-7 minutes, or until browned and cheese is melted.
Parmesan Crisps Weight Watcher’s Style:
- 1 cup 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp. fresh Parmesan, grated
- 1 tbsp. flour
Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. If the sheet is teflon coated you do not need to. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl. The cheese mixture makes 16 crisps so drop by tablespoon onto the baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden, 5-7 minutes. Watch closely as they can burn very easily.
I thought I would add one more crisp using Monterey Jack Cheese (pepper jack cheese). Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the cheese into 1/2-inch cubes. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place each cube about 6-inches apart. Bake for 3-5 minutes watching very carefully. The cheese will melt and bubble up; when the bubbling stops the crisps are done.
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2011/11/20/minestrone-sou…armesan-crisps/
The hard rinds from some good Parmigiano-Reggiano (also known as Parmesan in English) cheese from Italy.
Parmesan Crisps on the right and Weight Watcher’s Version on the left.