This savory Mushroom Minestrone soup is a delicious, Italian-inspired meal, chock full of hearty mushroom and tomato flavors with seasonal winter veggies.
As this week back to school and back at work winds its way down, I’ve found myself wishing for the time I had a few weeks ago during our winter holidays. I mean, how great is it when you can get up a bit later, eat breakfast mid-morning, stay up a bit later and watch a movie…even take off and head to the beach for the day (which we did the weekend after Christmas!) But inevitably routines and schedules take back our days with work, and meetings, and classes, and practices – all those things that fill our week. It can get a little chaotic some evenings 🙂 But despite all our different directions, and all the things we have going on… I try to make sure dinner is totally our downtime. No distractions during dinner is the rule – no phones, tablets, TV…just all of us talking. And relaxing. And eating! And it’s at my table where my kids regale me with tales about the playground, show-and-tell, library selections, Math tests, soccer goals, jumping rope…:) I really love this little time of our evening. And I love catching up on all things everyday 🙂
BUT folks, if you want to enjoy dinner downtime, you must have a dinner. And preferable a good dinner, because dinner would most definitely not be downtime if it tastes bleh. In fact…in my house if dinner is no good, then I have 4 pairs of very disappointed eyes staring at me, followed by the standard fallback – peanut butter sandwiches and apples. So for dinner downtime, you need something tasty and preferably something easy to make. This soup, folks. THIS SOUP. My daughter told me at dinner that I outdid myself, and I had to agree. This Mushroom Minestrone is one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever put together. And the key to that hearty and delicious mushroom flavor is Bertolli Riserva Porcini Mushrooms and White Truffle Oil.
I actually got the idea for this as I was perusing Bertolli’s website. This year, they are celebrating 150 ways to bring Tuscany to your table, and on the site they have tons of tips on ways to do it. I was inspired by tip 93: Minestrone soup. There were actually some really cool tips on the site – from napkin presentation to pasta cuisines. However, I LOVE Minestrone soup. And tip 93 explained that Minestrone is actually made up of whatever vegetables you have on hand. So for mine, I wanted to incorporate that hearty mushroom flavor, yet also use seasonal winter veggies that are available this time of year. The result was a divine mix of hearty mushroom, veggies, beans, and pasta. Super easy to make for dinner downtime, and with a piece of crusty bread…super tasty.
I plan to vary the veggies in this soup from season to season, but the mushroom and the sauce base will always be the same. And if your family prefers some veggies to others, then you could easily substitute or add favorites in. In this soup I even added winter beets. BEETS people! I happen to love beets, but if my kids knew there were beets in the soup, they wouldn’t have even tried it. But the soup is truly so tasty, they gobbled it all right up! It was a veggie win 🙂 I also used typical ditalini pasta, but I’ve seen minestrone with elbows and shells too, if that’s all you’ve got on hand.
If you want to put this Italian-inspired meal together you’ll definitely need the Bertolli Riserva Porcini Mushrooms and White Truffle Oil so that you can capture that hearty and unique mushroom taste. Head to the Bertolli site for a coupon too! And while you’re there take a peek at those nifty tips.
Friends, I hope you enjoy the soup! And in the spirit of the Italian love of life (and love of food!), also try enjoy a little dinner downtime once in a while 🙂 Buona giornata!