Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mediterranean Minestrone

It doesn't matter if it's the middle of summer and almost 100 degrees, I love soup.  Especially a light soup that you can feel good about eating.  I'm not a fan of Italian Minestrone because I feel like it's a bit of a carb overload with all pasta and beans.  So I decided to lighten it up with my version of a Mediterranean Minestrone.  I made this soup with lots of vegetables and chickpeas.  I even used the chickpeas to make my broth creamy.   I garnished the soup with a lot of fresh basil and "splurged" away.  The family decided this soup was a keeper so it will be a staple in my home no matter how hot or cold it is outside.

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth 
15 oz can of diced tomatoes
(2) 15 oz cans of chickpeas
1 cup of diced zucchini
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup of diced yellow onions
1 spring onion sliced
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of dried basil
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
2 bay leaves
4-5 cloves of garlic (grated)
salt and pepper to taste
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
fresh basil for garnish

In a large soup pot, heat 2 Tbs of olive oil on medium- high heat.  Add all your diced vegetables and 2 bay leaves.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.

Add your grated garlic next and saute for another 2 minutes.

Next add the dried spices (basil, oregano, ground cumin, salt and pepper).  Saute for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the can of diced tomato, the 8 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable) and one can of the chickpeas.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Take the 2nd can of chickpeas and put it in a blender with 1/2 a cup of water.  Blend until it becomes a puree.  Add the pureed chickpeas to the soup towards the end of the cooking time.  Before you turn off your stove, add a good squeeze of lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon) to the entire soup.  Taste for seasoning and your soup should be done.

Julienne some fresh basil as a garnish.