Aggie's Kitchen

Minestrone with Crisped Polenta Rounds

My husband has been away for work the last couple of days (in NJ and Philly eating good pizza and cheesesteaks – lucky him!!) and I’ll admit, when he’s away I really don’t cook too much. I wish I could tell you that my kids love my cooking and eat what I make them, but they don’t. My daughter is young enough to try almost anything and eat it happily, but my 4 year old will not budge when I beg and plead with him to try something new. So I really don’t make too much of an effort to do any major cooking when its just me and the kids. We eat lots of sandwiches and English Muffin pizzas and such. Nothing special.

Today, something got me in the mood to cook. Maybe it’s knowing that Larry will be home late tonight and will probably be hungry after his flight. Maybe it was the lack of cooking for the past 3 days…and the fully stocked veggie drawer calling my name. But let’s be real, it doesn’t take much to get me in the mood to cook. I had picked up some zucchini, squash and fresh spinach at the farmer’s market over the weekend and it was time to cook it up. I needed some good comfort food and minestrone soup was it.

Have you ever tried this polenta?


You can find it in the produce section of your grocery store. I discovered it years ago but haven’t bought it in a while. I had some in the fridge for a recipe that I didn’t get to…it went perfectly with my soup tonight. I grew up eating homemade polenta that my Nonno made, but have never made it myself. This product definitely doesn’t compare to homemade polenta, but it works for a quick side to a meal like this.

Minestrone
Recipe by Aggie

1 TB olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lb lean ground beef
2 – 3 carrots, chopped
small palm full dried oregano
small palm full dried thyme
small palm full dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 squash, chopped
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can water (swirl around tomato cans)
1 can red kidney beans with liquid
1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans with liquid
4 – 5 cups fresh spinach
Parmesan cheese
Polenta, sliced about 1/4″ thick

In large soup pot, heat 1 TB olive oil over medium high. Add onion, garlic, and ground beef to pot and start to brown. Add carrots and continue to cook until beef is completely cooked through and carrots are starting to soften. Add spices. Add salt and pepper, continuing to add and taste as you go along.

Add chopped vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes, adding a little more salt and pepper to taste. Add tomatoes and beans and stir to combine. Bring to boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add spinach and stir so that it begins to wilt in the soup. Continue to cook for about 30 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.

In small nonstick pan, add sliced polenta rounds. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides and cook for a few minutes on each side until slightly browned and crisp.

Serve soup with polenta rounds and Parmesan cheese.

PS…my daughter gobbled this soup up! My son tried it and cringed, then settled for English Muffin pizza stating that the soup was “grown up food” so he couldn’t eat it because he was only 4 years old.

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26 comments on “Minestrone with Crisped Polenta Rounds”

  1. This looks fantastic! So full of heartiness. YUM … at first sight I thought it was a muffin, then saw it was Polenta = )

  2. Looks delicious! I have that polenta out for dinner. Never used it…

  3. This looks great! It has been really cold and any soup looks good to me. Too bad you are not with your hubby, you could stop by my house…I’m probably not too far away.

  4. I like the idea of the polenta rounds with the soup. Nice addition.

  5. Oh I love minestrone, and these polenta rounds would make it even better. I used to buy those tubes all the time and I haven’t in years. Gotta get one!

  6. The polenta rounds won me over. What a great addition to the soup!

  7. I love minestrone and yours looks fabulous. The polenta rounds on the side are a great addition.

  8. I love that polenta…they work great as a base too. Your minestrone looks delicious-I’m glad your daughter would eat it, my kids are the same (and they are old enough for “grown up” food they’re just picky!)

  9. The soup looks so warming and needed here up NY, the temps have dropped… it’s cold!! Love the crispy polenta rounds!

  10. The polenta rounds put your minestrone over the top. My girlz aren’t all that jazzed by everything I cook either. Maybe we should drop off the children at Chik-fil-a and you and I could cook for each other!

  11. I love the idea of using the polenta rounds on top of the soup. SOunds delicious!

  12. That polenta sausage is so interesting and practical!
    Can’t wait to see your blog new look! I bet Hannah will do a great job!

  13. I did a polenta rounds post last month I think with veggies. Turned out great. I am still a little apprehensive about cooking polenta from scratch. Yours looks great.

  14. don’t you love how versatile minestrone can be?
    I love the polenta cakes.
    yes, your hubby is lucky to eat those philly cheesesteaks!!!

  15. Aggie your new look is amazing wow!

    I love this recipe with those lovely polenta rounds, I never tried polenta with added ingredients and it is normally shaped into a slab, these are so cute. 🙂

  16. I love that it has become that time of year for this delicious soup. It has become one of my favorites over the years. Great idea with the polenta rounds!

  17. so yummy looking! love your new blog look!!

  18. Loving your fresh new look!

  19. I absolutely love the new look! It is beautiful! I love polenta. It is one of my faves. I love it already in the pkg. So fast and easy. Your minestone looks delish!

  20. p.s. where or who did you get this new personalized background from? It is lovely.

  21. That soup looks good and I link the sound of serving it with crispy polenta.

  22. Aggie:
    YOur new look is simply gorgeous!

  23. I love everything about this meal! Hope you and Larry enjoyed it 🙂 BTW, I’m definitely keeping an eye out for that polenta – yum!

  24. Warm, hearty, and colorful :). Sounds like my kind of Fall meal!

  25. Oh I love minestrone and this looks so good!!

  26. Pingback: Soup and Stew Favorites | She Wears Many Hats