Since Hunter and I headed to Georgia for Christmas, we wanted to celebrate with his sister in Charleston before we left.  We thought about grilling out, but it was raining off and on, so I decided on some soup and cornbread.  After a search through my inbox, I found this minestrone recipe that fit the bill.  Note: I’ve never made minestrone (or probably eaten it) before, so who knows why it sounded great, but I’m glad it did.

Minestrone Soup


  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 t fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 15.25 oz. can whole kernel sweet white corn, drained
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  •  1 box chicken broth (~4 cups)
  • 1 c uncooked ditalini pasta
  • 15.5 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • 2 t Tabasco
  • 6 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach
  • Shredded gruyere cheese

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion to the pan and sauté about 3 minutes, until softened, stirring frequently.  Add oregano and garlic and sauté another minute, continuing to stir frequently.  Stir in the squash, zucchini, carrot, and corn.  Sauté 5 more minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth and crushed tomatoes to your pot.  Add in the ranch packet and hot sauce and stir.  Next add the pasta and beans to pot.  Cook 10 minutes until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in spinach, and salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese!


Edits : There were a few… for starters, I didn’t have fresh oregano, so just used the dry kind in a bottle.  I also had baby carrots on hand, so cut those up instead of buying the big guys to cut up.  I used 1/2 c more pasta than the recipe called for, because I love pasta.  I had never heard of great northern beans, but apparently they’re common enough to be with all the other beans on the aisle.  I used a little more hot sauce, and a little less spinach, plus subbed parmesan cheese for gruyere. Phew, I think that’s it!

Results : I admit, I was kinda skeptical since I’d never had minestrone soup before, and wasn’t sure if this would actually fill me up.  It totally did.  I couldn’t even finish my bowl (which was overflowing).  Samantha and Hunter ate all of theirs too, and the recipe got a raving review!  It’s a keeper 🙂

PS – This is great with cornbread!


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