Minestrone soup- the good stuff

Ok. I will confess. I hated thinking about minestrone soup. It was a memory of a taste of pure hell, along with a particularily bad memory of some breakfast oatmeal with grits, warm apple slices and cold bananas topped with a shitload of honey. Memories from childhood can be a tragic blocker for kids or grown ups, to eat regular food without the terror coming back in the form of brussel sprouts.  And while I think everybody may have a dislike or distaste for certain things, thanks to some shitty granny or any other stupid grown-up, who force-fed us with "healthy" food, I know how hard it is to overcome this fear later as a grown up. So, forgive me for writing a "healing" post:)

I still haven't completely overcome my fear of certain foods, but I think I'm doing pretty well, considered the amount of trauma I had going on, for like, a long time.
Minestrone soup always brings to mind those nice holiday trips to Bulgaria or Croatia, camping out by the sea, and cooking that god-awful soup out of a bag. It was REALLY  DISGUSTING.
Whenever I'm in a store and I see this one on a shelf, I turn around and run. Looks quite weird. If you ever see somebody doing that in the ready-made soup aisle of a store, you just lost a chance to meet me:)
But, as I'm a sucker for making things at home, making them easy, as you may have noticed, and I know I'm a badass, but I try to give things and people a second chance. Hence my trial with this soup.

I'll tell you how to undo a terrible mind process like hating a specific thing. Food, of course, I'm not a shrink.
Either you hate the whole dish, or you hate just a piece of it, like fish. In a fish main course. Then it's hard to undo it, but still managable. Start out with shrimps:)
If you, or your loved one hates the whole dish, it's good to go through the ingredients. Like looking under the bed or checking the closet for monsters. You see there is nothing to be afraid of. Are you afraid of a can of tomatoes? Or a handful of pasta? Or, maybe you're terrified of broth? Baby spinach? Seriously, baby spinach can't hurt anybody. It's a baby, right? And it's cute. That helps.
So, now we see that the soup/thing is not that scary, you're in control, you're an adult and you know your worth. You rule!
Second option- you don't like broccoli? Oh, you poor thing, thank god we don't have to add it to absolutly everything:) Just take it out of the recipe and subsitute for something else. Green beans are usually stress-free. Hopefully.
Life gets real easy, if somebody just took the time to tell us those things before.

Ok, enough pschology for free. Time for a recipe!

Type of dish: soup, main
Cost: cheap
Difficulty: easy
Serves: 2-4
Time: 15 min
Preparation time: 5 min
Cooking time: 10 min

You'll need:
a medium saucepan with lid, a teaspoon, a ladle, bowls

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cube vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dry penne or rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tsp dried basil or 1 tbsp fresh chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • for garnish fresh shaved parmesan and a few basil leaves
  • optional- half a onion, thinly sliced, or a handfull of green beans
  • S&P
  • squeeze of lemon juice, pinch of sugar
Drain the chickpeas, rinse them, drain again. Mix all the ingredients in the saucepan, apart from the spinach and S&P , and heat on high heat till it boils. Turn down the heat to medium low and cook covered for 10 min, until pasta is cooked. Add the spinach and mix so it wilts, then taste and season. Spoon in bowls and top with parmesan shavings and fresh basil leaves for extra flavour.

This is nothing like the packet soup, and thank god for that!

Additional info: You can serve this with croutons.

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