So I have really been digging Rachael Ray soups lately..fresh, healthy, and fabulously delish! I made this one last night with a few changes…Tomato Minestrone with Buttery Pine Nut Breadcrumbs.
So after looking through the recipe you probably see there is no meat so what I did before I started (in the same pot as I was going to cook the soup so less dishes!) is poach some chicken breasts in water, onions, and bay leaves. Basically, if you don’t know how to poach chicken you put the chicken in the pot and pour water in until it just gets to the top of the chicken. Add a few bay leaves and a few sweet vidalia onions and salt & pepper. Bring it to a boil and let it (somewhere between a boil and a simmer) cook for about 20 minutes-longer if it is bone-in.
Once it cooled I took two forks and shredded the chicken for the soup..in the recipe I added it when I added the tomato puree, stock, & water.
When it gets really cold outside I think adding beef stew meat or ground beef would make it a little more hearty so I will have to try that if it will ever get cold!
Use fresh ingredients!! Well, except Bay leaves…I don’t know where you can get those fresh and I like the dried ones because they have had spice added to them for extra flavor!
You are supposed to you just tomato puree but the crushed tomatoes in a puree gives it a heartier texture! Also I add dark red kidney beans to the recipe because I like them and it adds a little something I think!
Even if you don’t make the breadcrumbs every time-try it once-they are awesome! And to make your bread a little crustier put it in the oven and toast it. Use a mini food processor and but the bread in it and then add the pine nuts. Once those are pulverized add the Parmesan and butter and pulse more!
And I even liked it so much I had another bowl before bed and then just finished off another bowl for lunch! If you are going to make a little extra and save some as leftovers when you add your pasta don’t cook it long-al dente at best so it will not be too mushy when you reheat!
A little thicker today when I reheated but so so good! Since I don’t save the breadcrumbs I like to sprinkle some pine nuts on top for some crunch & texture!