Simple Recipe: “Magic” Minestrone

Easy and Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe
Whenever someone in my family gets sick, my mom makes her famous minestrone soup, and it always works like a charm. No one has come down with a cold over here (yet) but we’re feeling the chill of these autumn days, and that has set us on the hunt for comfort foods. In the notes my mom made for this recipe, it says, “Lots of ingredients, but easy–mostly dumping!” Which is true: chop, chop, chop, dump into pot–and voila! Magic soup.

I love that this soup is thick, almost like a stew, but you can water it down with more chicken broth or water at the end if you like it thinner. It’s one of those dishes that’s great to make on a Sunday because it’s such a big batch that it can last through the week. I’m a fan of putting it into a thermos for a steaming hot lunch at work. Anyone else out there a thermos fan? I think it’s the perfect intersection of nostalgia and function.

Easy and Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe


15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
14-oz can chicken broth
1 quart water
2 medium carrots, diced
Half of small cabbage or 1 small Chinese cabbage, sliced
1 medium potato, diced
15-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, diced
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1⁄2 cup uncooked macaroni


1. In a large stockpot, add beans, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and tomatoes to chicken broth and water. Simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Coat the bottom of a skillet with cooking spray; sauté the onions for few minutes until the edges are just beginning to turn gold. Add zucchini, garlic, pepper, and basil. Cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp. Add to the stockpot (with the beans, broth, vegetables, and tomatoes) with tomato sauce and macaroni.

3. Simmer for another 20 minutes. Add water or more broth if it’s too thick for your taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Kale Recipe Roundup

Since it’s January, I’m on the “eat more veggies!” bandwagon. Kale is my number one veggie of choice, and since I posted my own kale-for-breakfast recipe yesterday, today I wanted to feature five other recipes that I’ve been using in regular rotation lately.

Favorite Kale Recipes | Frock Files
5 Minute Wonton Soup // There are so many things to love about this recipe. It’s quick enough to make for lunch, or for dinner on nights where you feel like you just can’t do another thing. It’s mouthwateringly tasty. And it’ll keep you warm on these cold winter’s nights! I’ve made this over half a dozen times in the past month, and now that I’m looking at the photo, I’m craving it yet again.

Favorite Kale Recipes | Frock Files
Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and Pecorino // My second favorite vegetable of the moment are brussels sprouts, so you can imagine how in love I am with this salad. I’m really into salads with a lot of substance right now, and this one certainly fits the bill.

Favorite Kale Recipes | Frock Files
Cooked Baby Kale with Onion, Mushrooms, and Sausage // First of all, for you Paleo lovers, this blog is chock full of delicious recipes! I don’t abide by any specific diets, but I sure am a big fan of this recipe. It uses a WHOLE container of baby kale. Yowza! It’s a totally satisfying dinner without making you feel like you need to take a nap for the rest of winter after eating.

Favorite Kale Recipes | Frock Files
Garlic and Parmesan Kale Pasta // This recipe is simple and utterly delicious. I love that it’s also flexible. Gluten free? Substitute GF pasta! Dairy free? Sub olive oil for butter and nix the cheese (try nutritional yeast instead)! The other thing to love about this recipe — and this blog in general — is how budget friendly it is.

Favorite Kale Recipes | Frock Files
White Bean and Kale Soup // My neighbor made a kale and white bean soup, then lo and behold, Melissa of Lulu the Baker posted a recipe a couple of days later for the same thing! Oh, it’s good. I like to throw in some pearl barley to give the soup some heft as a complete meal.

What are your favorite kale recipes? I’m always looking for more!

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