As a kid I loved wedding soup but when I became vegetarian I stopped eating it because there was so much meat in it: Chicken broth, chicken, and meatballs made from either turkey, lamb, or some combination.
Minestrone is the most popular Italian soup, and it's vegetarian. Instead of trying to create a vegetarian wedding soup I thought it might be more fun to just combine the two. I love the texture of the little pastas and the spinach in the wedding soup, but I also love that thick tomato base and the unlikely addition of carrots in minestrone.
Italian Mutt Stew
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 c chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 c chopped carrots
2 chopped tomatoes
1 carton vegetable broth (approx. 4-5 cups)
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz.)
1/2 c ancini de pepe
1 c water
A handful or two of spinach
-Heat the olive oil in a medium pot - once the oil is hot, cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes, stirring
-Add the celery and carrots - cook for a few minutes, stirring
-Add the tomatoes and cook for about a minute before adding the vegetable broth and tomato paste
-Mix all the ingredients so the tomato paste and broth are incorporated to make a smooth tomato base, then let simmer for up to an hour
-In the meantime, bring the water to a boil in a small pot and cook the ancini de pepe
-Add the ancini de pepe along with the spinach and let the soup cool slightly before serving, add salt and pepper as needed
-Serve with croutons and enjoy!
**P.S. In the near future I will feature a guest post by a totally awesome blogger who I really admire! She has beautiful photography and her recipes are both healthy and indulgent, much like what I strive to do in the kitchen everyday. Stay tuned to find out who it is...