If you have a bunch of leftover vegetables that don't equate to enough for a full salad, turning them into a soup may just be the perfect use for them. Minestrone is a soup that's packed full of vegetables, and is easily customizable to use up whatever you have on hand. Plus, it can easily be made entirely vegan if you're cooking for those who prefer to eat plant based. When you're making homemade tomato minestrone soup, there's an even easier way to whip up the soup quickly and easily. While some recipes call for tomato paste, you can use some marinara sauce leftover from your last pasta night to achieve an even better flavor for your soup.
All you'll need to do to make the base of the soup is mix half a jar of marinara sauce with an equal amount of your desired broth or stock. Once the sauce has been thinned out, add it into your saucepan to allow it to heat up.
Why Does Marinara Sauce Mix Well With Minestrone?
Before you add your sauce and broth mix to the stovetop, you'll want to sauté your other diced vegetables in some oil to bring out their flavor. Some of the most common vegetables added into the soup include celery, carrots, onions, and boiled potatoes. You could also add in some zucchini, peppers, peas, or mushrooms. Once you've added in your jar of marinara sauce and broth, you can season the soup with some salt, pepper, garlic, and herbs to taste.
Marinara sauce does start with a tomato base, which is an essential flavor in minestrone, but other additions often put into the sauce can add some extra flavor into your soup. The pasta sauce typically includes garlic, basil, and seasonings. While this does make the sauce taste great alongside pasta or on a pizza, it can also help enhance the taste of your minestrone soup and give you a great base to start cooking with. Some sauces even include red pepper flakes, which can add a hint of spice to the sauce.
How To Improve Your Soup Even More
Once your minestrone soup is simmering, you can add in some cannellini beans, pasta, lentils, kale, or arborio rice to bulk up the dish a little more. Cooking the pasta (or rice) in the broth will imbue the noodles or grains with some extra flavor, making every bite that much tastier. Then, you can garnish your bowl with a sprinkling of parmesan before serving for a dose of nutty sharpness.
If you find that your brothy sauce has made your soup runny, adding in one of those starchy ingredients may be essential. The starch from the grains could lend itself to the soup to thicken it up a little. You can also remove a little bit of broth to add into your blender and puree it with a can of beans. Then, add the mix back into the pot, and combine it with the rest of the soup. The next time you're looking for an easy and filling dinner, grab a jar of leftover marinara sauce to mix up some minestrone.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.