Confession time. I don’t drink wine. I don’t like it. To some of you that makes me a monster, but I feel I should be honest. To my taste, there has never been a wine as good as a fine strawberry Kool-Aid. That said, strawberry Kool-Aid SUCKS in soup. Wine adds a great flavor when cooked into many dishes. On a side note, the alcohol does NOT cook out of most dishes. I don’t care who told you it does. In most cases, that isn’t true. Let it go! The wine adds a depth that I love. It makes this a serious soup. It’s the only ingredient in this soup that I feel shouldn’t be left out; the kind of beans, the pasta, how many carrots… nothing is vital except a little wine. Everything else is variable.
Yields: Serves 8
6 cups/1.5 qts/1.4 L vegetable broth (homemade or low sodium)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks of celery, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
32 oz./907 g can of diced tomatoes
3/4 cup/177 ml red wine
1 15 oz./425 g can Cannellini beans, drained (or 2 cups cooked beans)
2 cups baby spinach
2 medium zucchinis, chopped or sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried
Dash of fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup large seashell pasta or GF pasta of choice
1Hand dice, or use a veggie chopper to dice the vegetables into small cubes. The closer in size they are to each other, the nicer the soup will be to eat.
2In a large stockpot, over medium heat add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and sauté for another 2 minutes.
3Add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, red wine and bay leaf and bring to boil, stirring to break up the tomatoes. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
4Reduce heat to low and add beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 40-45 minutes until vegetables are tender.
5While the soup is cooking, get out another medium pot, and bring water to a boil. Add the seashells or pasta and cook just until tender. Drain and set aside.
6Taste test the soup and add the pepper as desired. If the soup is tart or bitter from the canned tomatoes, you could add 1 tsp. of sugar, but we don't recommend it.
7Once the seashells are cooked and soup is ready, place 2 large spoonfuls of cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle the soup on top of pasta in bowls.