Tomato Minestrone with Parmesan Crisps

Minestrone Soup It’s cold and getting colder!  I decided to make a rustic, hearty soup full of vegetables and settled on this tomato minestrone since it super easy and I didn’t have much time to throw it together.  But, what really elevates this soup are the homemade parmesan crisps.  The toasted parmesan adds crunch and distinct Italian flavor to this comforting soup.  

Minestrone mis en place--ready to cook!

Simmer simmer!

Ready to bake these parmesan crisps

Toasty and golden--ready to eat!

Tomate Minestrone with Parmesan Crisps

Tomato Minestrone with Parmesan Crisps
Author: Vallery
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ditalini or macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, halved and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 ounces) tomato puree
  • 2 cups vegetable juice (V8 ok)
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) cannellini or white beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 12 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • Toasted multi-grain bread, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Sautee for four minutes. Then, add the zucchini, squash, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and cook an additional two minutes. Add the tomatoes, puree, vegetable juice, and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While the soup is simmering, cook the parmesan crisps. Place heaps of parmesan on a parchment-lined or silplat-lined pan (Silplat is easiest to remove the crisps). Cook for 5-10 minutes, until you can smell the parmesan and it looks dried out and is starting to brown. Remove from the oven. After a few minutes, carefully remove each crisp. Be careful because they are very fragile!
  3. After the soup has simmered for 15 minutes, add the beans and simmer for an additional five minutes. Add the spinach, parsley, basil, oregano, and cooked pasta and simmer for five more minutes. Correct the seasoning by adding more salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately alongside the parmesan crisps and toasted multigrain bread.
  4. **If you don't feel like making the parmesan crisps, just sprinkle some grated parmesan on top once the soup is ladled into the bowls.