This stew, though I had sincere doubts about it at first, has quickly become a new favorite food.
It was supposed to be a soup, but then I kept adding things to it. Before I knew it, it was a stew. I’m really okay with that. In fact, I consider it a happy accident. It’s hearty, filling and full of flavor. Plus, it’s chock full of veggies! Heavenly. And totally good for you.
Hearty Minestrone Stew
loosely adapted from Rachael Ray’s Endless Summer Minestrone
makes about 5-6 large servings
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup orzo, dry
- 1 medium sweet/ white onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 lb green beans, trimmed & cut into thirds or quarters
- 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 1 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine (I used a Sauvingnon Blanc)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- salt & pepper to taste (I really didn’t need much)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (15 oz) pinto, kidney, navy or white beans (I used pinto)
Finely chop all of your vegetables.
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add orzo and toast for about two minutes. Add onion and toast for about 30 more seconds.
Add zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, celery and carrots.
Stir to evenly distribute.
Cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft, stirring often.
Add the wine and boil for one minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
Drink some wine yourself. The bottle’s open, after all!
Add thyme, basil, sage and the bay leaf and let cook on low to moderate heat for about five minutes.
Add the beans and simmer until the orzo expands.
Remove the bay leaf and eat up! You’ll warm right up on a cold wintery night. I’d know! I had it last night when I was freezing and I was one happy camper!