30 Minute Minestrone Soup - Healthy Pantry Dinner

It was 5:25 pm and I was heading to my mother in laws for dinner. I had been busy all day and did not feel like last night's leftovers. I can not eat most of the meals she makes because it is spicy hot, you know what I mean, fire going in and fire coming out ( laughing ) and my gut can not handle it anymore. That being said I can take some regular red chili flakes, just not sun scorching Indian chilies. It makes me laugh to think I was brought up in a Danish household where pepper was considered a hot spice and dad did not allow garlic in the house.

So there I was staring at the new saucier pan I just bought myself. I paid a ridiculous price for it ( said the frugal committee member of the she-brain board in my head, she always yells the loudest ). I allowed the professor the floor ( smart logical member of the committee ) and once again realized that to use my education properly I wanted the tools I had dreamed about for years but could not justify buying, or afford. I mean as frugal me says, why learn to drive in a Porsche? You gonna wreck it.

This is a 3 1/2 quart saucier pan by Le Creuset. It was heavenly to use. Thank goodness it was on sale. Once again, April Lord--it is your fault for introducing me to Americas Test Kitchen and their reviews. This was ranked top saucier pan by their chefs.

I had to make something in it, I had to make dinner for myself and I had 30 minutes to do it. Well, let me tell you yummy and filling and reasonable on the budget. It turned out better than I could have ever hoped. So I wrote up the recipe and this will be a regular for me. Most of us have the ingredient's in our kitchen in the pantry. I had the greens in the freezer. I always have a bag now of this new mix of super greens. Trust me it is wonderful and easy to defrost and throw in your meals or make a green smoothie with it. I just grabbed some and defrosted it in the microwave. You could just throw it in frozen. I will add the picture at the end.

1 small can "Italian" Diced Tomatoes ( makes all the difference ) but any brand will do
1/2 a piece of celery chopped small
1/2 a chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup greens of choice ( I used a frozen defrosted kale spinach and collards mix )
2 tablespoons cubed ham ( I used kielbasa )
1/4 cup pasta of choice ( I threw in a small hand full )
1 small bay leaf
A handful of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can navy beans ( your favorite beans will work )

Add the butter and olive oil to your pan and add the chopped onion. Saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add some small cubes of sausage or a ham you like. I prefer not to use bacon to avoid that greasy feel in my mouth when I eat the soup.  Add the bay leaf. Add the flour into the mixture and stir to cook the flour a little. Add the tomato juice from the can, this requires you drain the juices out before you add the solids to the soup base. When the sauce thickens a little from the tomato juice add the remaining tomato pieces from the can. Once incorporated, add the chicken stock slowly. Let this come to a small boil and add the pasta and the beans. Now you know you have about 12-15 minutes before the pasta is cooked remember the beans are already cooked. At the end of this time Taste the sauce for salt and pepper. Add the two tablespoons of tomato paste now and incorporate. If you need it a just the seasoning, even add a sprinkle of sugar if you feel it is needed.

In the pot, it should look like this.

I was really happy with this meal. I did not have it with any bread or side dish because of my dietary restrictions, but it would go great with crunchy bread. This meal had no impact on my blood sugar.

Super greens: This mix has kale, spinach, and collards.


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