Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cheesy Italian Minestrone - Perfect for Freezing!

Lately, I've had to come to terms with the fact that this pregnancy is taking a lot out of me.  Trying to keep up with a houseful of little ones and still do everything we usually do is exhausting.  By the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is cook another meal.  So, I'm going back to freezer cooking.  Honestly, I'm horrible at this!  The idea of traditional freezer cooking (spending all day in the kitchen to cook a month's worth of meals) sends me hyperventilating from the room!  Instead, we're taking baby steps.  For the next few weeks, I'll be doubling and freezing most of our meals.  Today, I started with something that I LOVE and is oh-so-good for the baby :)  I made a huge batch of this minestrone in the hopes that it will keep me from scrounging up leftovers from the kids plates at lunch time.  Maybe then I'll actually have the energy to put together a decent dinner!  I know our budget would thank me :)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 carrots or 1/2 bag of baby carrots, sliced (I actually used the whole bag)
3 cans diced tomatoes, pureed
2 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 15 oz can green beans, undrained
1 15 oz can cannelloni or great northern beans, undrained
1/3 cup Italian blend cheese, shredded
1 cup elbow pasta

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil on medium heat and saute onions, garlic, parsley, celery, and carrots until crisp tender.  Place tomatoes in a blender and blend until fairly smooth.  Add tomato puree, beef broth, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, green beans, and cannelloni beans to the sauteed vegetables.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in Italian cheese until just melted.

If you plan to freeze portions, it is recommend to cool the soup completely at this point and freeze in individual containers or freezer bags.  If not, add in 1 cup of cooked elbow pasta and stir.

Serve with additional Italian cheese on top if desired.

This soup is absolutely amazing and perfect for these cold winter days. 

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  1. Looks yummy! I'm currently on the look out for good freezer recipes because I want to try once-a-month cooking so this is perfect!
    Up until now I've just done a quadruple batch of something or other every week.

  2. Elise, you are my hero! I have never been successful with the once-a-month cooking, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to stock up a bit in the next few weeks. There's a post scheduled for Monday for chicken enchiladas that were amazing!! Hopefully, you'll enjoy them as much as we did :)