By Holly V. Gray

Late Summer Garden Minestrone

We’re on the very edge of fall here and I’ve already been craving heartier soups and stews lately.  Farmers’ markets are overflowing with okra, tomatoes, carrots…. add to that, my little backyard garden is bursting with herbs.

This soup creation is exactly what I was in the mood for on a recent cool and rainy day.  It is a minestrone in the classic sense that it’s a vegetable soup with a little pasta thrown in for fun.  The ingredients are what’s in-season here right now and I think could be easily adjusted to whatever you’ve got on hand.

2 TBSP olive oil
1/4c yellow onion, diced
3/4c okra, sliced 1/2″
1/4c celery, sliced
1/2c carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4c vegetable broth
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
3 large roma tomatoes, diced
3 TBSP fresh parsley
1 TBSP fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme
3c fresh baby spinach, rough chopped
1/2c ditalini pasta

1.  In a large pot, heat olive oil over Medium heat.

2.  Add onion, okra, celery, and carrots.  Saute 3-5 minutes.

3.  Add garlic and continue cooking another 1 minute.

4.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to Low.

5.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste and serve warm.

 



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