Easy Minestrone Soup

Last week was cold and rainy. I don’t think the sun came out much at all.

Plus there was the time change which meant I left for work in the dark and came home in the dark.

This signals two things to me: A) I need to get out my Happy Light, and B) I need a comfort food soup to slurp.

minestrone soup

I got this recipe out of my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

I like this recipe because it’s easy and quick, but also because my kids will eat the parts of it separate from the soup. For instance I boil a few extra noodles to leave out of the soup for the boys.  They will also eat some of the veggies if I leave them out of the soup.  Everyone was happy and Eddie even declared it a “delicious meal!” when I served it.

If the four-year old thinks it’s delicious, you know you’ve won dinner time.

Minestrone Soup


  • 3 14-oz cans of Beef Broth
  • 1 15-oz can of red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 14.5-oz can stewed tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 11.5-oz can veggie juice
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (crushed)
  • 1.5 cups loose-packed frozen mixed veggies (like Italian blend)
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (like medium shell macaroni or mostaccioli)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves (cut into strips)


Step 1
In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine the beef broth, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, undrained tomatoes, veggie juice, tomato paste, sugar, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil.
Step 2
Add mixed veggies and reduce heat. Let simmer covered for about 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Step 3
Stir in the cooked pasta and the spinach; heat through.
Step 4
Serve with a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

The recipe makes a LOT, so next time (yes, there will be a next time), I will probably only make half a batch. I like leftovers as much as the next guy, but it made a LOT of soup for two people.


Creamy Tomato Soup

A few weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook that I was currently eating my very first grilled cheese/tomato soup combo.  There was shock and disbelief that I made it 35 and a half years before dipping my first grilled cheese into some Campbell’s tomato soup.

Of course I loved it.

For some reason I had been under the impression that I hated tomato soup. I’m not sure where I got this idea other than I don’t like raw tomatoes. But tomato soup doesn’t taste like taking a bite out of a raw tomato.

Anyway, since I thought it was tasty, I was determined to make my own tomato soup.  Not that anything is wrong with Campbell’s, but homemade is always better than something out of a can.

So I scoured Pinterest for a recipe and I stumbled upon something that I pinned long ago…something my friend Nichole posted on her blog.

This week I decided we needed an easy dinner on Halloween so I made tomato soup by adapting her recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup, and Cortney whipped up some grilled cheese sandwiches.


Creamy Tomato Soup


  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 2oz butter
  • 1 small yellow onion (sliced)
  • 3 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups cream


Step 1
In a large sauce pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter and saute the onion and garlic until translucent
Step 2
Add the water and reduce by half.
Step 3
Add the tomatoes and cream and reduce by half.
Step 4
Remove from heat and use an emulsifier, blender, or food processor to blend until smooth.

I think grilled cheese and tomato soup might be my  new favorite thing.  I can’t believe I waited so long to try it!  Mmmm!

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