Monday, July 18, 2011

PRESTO PASTA NIGHTS & SECRET RECIPE CLUB - Tuscan Minestrone Soup




It's the second month in a row for me joining The Secret Recipe Club.  It's fun, Amanda emails you your secret blogger and you get to choose anything to make of theirs.  Everyone posts the recipe on the same day and they all will be linked at the bottom of this post.  Sounds like fun, huh?  Contact Amanda if you want to be a part of it next month! 

What make this even MORE fun, is this is the week that I am hosting Presto Pasta Nights!!  So I want all of you to email me with your pasta recipes and I will include them in a round up on Friday on my blog.  Just put a link in your post to me and to Presto Pasta Nights. There is a new host every week, check out Ruth's site for all the juicy details.   

So my secret recipe blog is Mele Cotte.  Chris has many amazing recipes, I had a hard time choosing.  I finally decided on this Tuscan Minestrone Soup as it had pasta in it. (Presto Pasta Nights, remember?) 

I had every intention of following her recipe closely but a turn of events changed the soup considerably. It was completely inspired from the recipe, I have the soup stains on the hard copy to prove it! 

I've been trying to clean out the freezer and I had 2 small ham bones in there so I decided to throw them in the crock pot for the day.  By the end of the day, I had a delicious ham broth and a bunch of ham chunks to add to the soup. 

Then I realized my tomatoes were furry, so we opted for the canned.  I didn't have as much zucchini as I thought so I added a red pepper and some celery.  The celery was on it's last leg too so it needed to be used. I also like my soup thick so I used less liquid and I cooked the pasta right in the soup rather than precooking it.  Add as much water or ham broth that you want depending on your taste. 

Moral of the story, I ended up with a delicious soup that only sorta resembled the original but was completely inspired from Chris's original.  She has a Herbed Chicken Salad and a Meatloaf with Red Pepper Sauce that I am waiting to make soon!




Tuscan Minestrone Soup
Adapted from Mele Cotte


1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 - 3 carrots, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large zucchini, cut into coins cut in half
1 small bunch spinach, shredded and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (or 2 fresh tomatoes)
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
4 tbsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1 cup pasta, uncooked
4 - 6 cups water or ham broth (I think that I used about 4 cups)
1 ham hock (unless you're vegetarian, then you probably wouldn't want to use this.)

Saute the onion in cooking spray until soft, for about 3 - 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add all the remaining veggies.  Season with salt and pepper and stir.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the veggies are softened.  Add ham broth and ham chunks if using.  Stir in the tomato paste and cover and simmer the soup on low for about 45 minutes. Heat to boiling, add pasta and beans and cook until pasta is done.  Serve. 
**I like thick soup so I added about 4 cups of liquid but if you want it thinner, just add more broth.

**You can add pretty much any veggies. You can make this vegetarian by eliminating the ham broth and ham, you might need to add more salt.

This is linked with:
$5 Dinner Challenge at $5 Dinners

39 comments:

  1. Yeah! I am glad you were able to make the recipe your own. Thanks for perusing my lil' blog. I forgot about that chicken salad. It is s good one I need to revisit. :)

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  2. Looks healthy and refreshing! Lovely to be in SRC with you.

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  3. That looks terrific. I cannot wait to give it a try. Come on over and check out our grilled fruit recipe. Its perfect for summer.

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  4. Yum, your soup looks delicious. Great story to go along with it :) My motto: Sometimes plan, sometimes wing it ;)

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  5. Debbi, the soup looks delicious! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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  6. Mmm, I love lighter soups like this in the summer! It looks delicious!

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  7. LOL...furry tomatoes! I have experienced that myself! This soup looks wonderful. It is a must do! Great SRC entry.

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  8. The soup sounds wonderful! I just love presto pasta nights too. I really should join in again!

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  9. Yum! It's a great summer soup!

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  10. I'm usually not much for soups in the summer, but that looks so good. Great job!

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  11. Such a healthy & delish soup!
    So fun to be in the Secret Recipe Club with you. This looks amazing :)

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  12. Those are my favorite kinds of soups, the ones where you go through the fridge and add what sounds/looks/tastes good! Looks great!

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  13. Oh yum! This minestrone looks so delicious - love the addition of the ham hocks!

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  14. This soup sounds really delicious. Yummy!

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  15. This sounds lovely. I rarely follow a recipe when making soup, even if I start out planning to so I can understand all your variation.

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  16. What a great soup! I will definitely keep this one in mind for the winter.

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  17. This sounds so super delicious! Sometimes the best recipes are inspired by others, but turn out nothing like the originals!

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  18. Oh your minestrone looks fabulous! I love all your wonderful additions. I will follow your lead and try this when the temps dip down this fall :)

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  19. What a hearty minestrone soup, perfect way to clean out your fridge and freezer.

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  20. Very cool idea, Debbi!
    And your choice of soup looks great. We always have to make adjustments to recipes depending on what we have in the fridge. You did a super job!

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  21. Don't you love starting out in one direction and ending up in another! Especially when the end result is a delicious dish. This soup looks amazing. I am saving this post for soup weather!

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  22. I always love a good soup recipe.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Holy Guacamole.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

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  23. oooo! I can't wait to stalk this blog! lol

    - Lisa
    http://inweighovermyhead.blogspot.com/

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  24. This soup looks so delicious! Yummy. :)

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  25. Love that you can use soup recipes to use up veggies hanging in the fridge. Looks great!

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  26. Wow. This looks and sounds so delicious.

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  27. This soup looks and soups great! I cant wait to make me up a pot!

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  28. I love it when you can take a good recipe and change it and it still turns out fantastic :)

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  29. I can't leave a recipe alone either! There's always ways to improve it, or there's always something you can add that needs to be used up. I love this soup--it sounds delish!

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  30. What great fun! I have submitted my entrance into the Secret Recipe blog party. The recipe looks delicious and I like your changes too.

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  31. Soups are always good for throwing in the foods that need to be quickly consumed!

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  32. This looks fabulous. Nice work on the Secret Recipe Club. Isn't it fun. I love finding new blogs and reading through them.

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  33. This is a great looking bowl of soup and pasta, and I love that you took the idea of a recipe and totally made it your own. it is great to use recipes as inspiration and add your own twists to them.
    Sue xo

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  34. First time here through SRC, lovely soup, thanks for the vegetarian version too.., everytime I keep thinking I will send somthing to Pasta nights, I hope to find if I can send something by tomorrow

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  35. I just read your post again to make sure I understood about the Secret Blog thingy. This time I saw your request about the pasta recipe. Whoops! Guess I need to read more thoroughly next time.

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  36. I love the recipes that rarely resemble the original....They are without a doubt the best!

    Thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop last week.

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  37. Not sure I can eat soup in this July heat, but I'm saving this for when I'm craving it this fall. Looks delicious!

    Amy @ A Little Nosh

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  38. I love how adaptable soup recipes are! They are great for cleaning out the freezer. Glad you participated this month!

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