Sheila’s Tomato Soup Minestrone

Yesterday, I met with the wife of a Medical Device manager I know. He suggested we get together because she is starting a corporate wellness consulting company.  I met with her and we had a nice conversation.

She is getting certified by an organization called Integrative Medicine. They support the idea of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and non Genetically Modified foods.

I had planned to stop at Central Market for some vegetables to make a Minestrone soup.  I was even more motivated after our discussion.  I made the soup and I really like it.

The recipe was a combination of a recipe for tomato soup I have been making for years. It came from The Frugal Gourmet cookbook by Jeff Smith.

The Frugal Gourmet is no longer on TV. Jeff Smith died many years ago and his reputation died as well. He had been accused of being a pedophile!

Still I love the soup. It is simple and uses fresh tomatoes. I never liked canned tomato soup but I love this one.  I decided to use that as a base for my minestrone. To it I added fresh veggies and beans.  I threw in sprigs of oregano, thyme and rosemary from my patio garden. This one is  a keeper!

The stock base I used is from a company called “Better Than Bouillon”.  I can find it in most groceries. The one I used is called “No Chicken Base”.  When I am looking for a more beefy stock, I use their “Mushroom base”.

 Since these can add a lot of sodium, I only use enough to flavor the stock to my taste. The label says to use ½ tablespoon per quart or 1 teaspoon per 8 oz. If you can use less, great because there is 670mg of sodium per teaspoon. If you want less sodium there are low sodium stocks you can buy or make your own!

I used roasted garlic and some of the oil from roasting it but fresh minced garlic is just as good. I hope you try this and enjoy getting your veggies!

Sheila’s Tomato Soup Minestrone

6 ripe roma tomatoes, chopped (skin, seeds and all!)
11/2 tbl olive oil and 1 tsp butter plus just enough olive oil to sauté the vegetables
3 cups chicken or chicken like stock or vegetable stock
I use 3 cups water and 2 tsp “no chicken” “Better than Bouillon” to make the stock 
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 medium zucchini chopped into cubes
1 medium carrot chopped into cubes
1 handful of green beans cleaned, tips removed and cut in half
5 large leaves of red Swiss chard, cleaned and red stalks cut off (greens only) chopped coarsely
½ potato chopped into cubes
½ can red kidney beans drained and rinsed
Sprigs of rosemary, thyme and fresh oregano
Salt and Fresh Ground pepper to taste

Saute the tomatoes in oil/butter mixture until they are tender. Add the soup stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, saute the garlic in a little olive oil (I used roasted garlic and the oil I roasted it in). Add carrot, zucchini, green beans and cook until zucchini starts to get soft.

Blend the tomato mixture (a hand blender is fantastic for this) in batches being careful not to overfill and burn yourself. Return to the pan and to the heat. Add the sautéed vegetables, the potato, the herbs and the chard. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and cook covered 5 more minutes.  Season, remove herb sprigs and serve.