BAKED SOUP: MINESTRONE! Kid-Friendly, Simple, and DELICIOUS!

This dish could not be easier. I decided to BAKE this soup, as opposed to simmering on the stove so that I could leave it with little attention and focus on other things.
Kids love it because there is a delicate balance of flavors and nothing too spicy or pungent. ‘Italian flavors’ are pleasing to little ones (think pizza…pasta…need I say more?!). The onions take on a sweet flavor and rice is always a satisfying and satiating ingredient.
Speaking of pizza/pasta sauce, I used a touch of marinara sauce left over from a meal prior in the week. It’s a perfect soup to reduce waste by incorporating leftovers! It’s also a wonderful meal choice to prepare before sitting down together to play a game or do homework as once prepped, it requires little attention.
Look at this beautiful bowl, trust me-it’s even better in person; smells and tastes divine!
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You can use pre-cooked rice in this dish (I did today) or simmer it all together: look for notable variations in water requirements, depending on the state of the rice you use! This is an excellent meal in which to use up FROZEN rice!
Ingredients prepped and folded together prior to baking…
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IMG_1819 You can also reduce the water and turn it into a fabulous casserole. Play around with this recipe- YOU ARE A CHEF TOO! Let the little ones assist and empower them to make healthy food choices! Enjoy!

(This soup would also make a great slow-cooker conversion to simmer for a few hours throughout the day, water requirements may vary.)

My Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 can of white beans or pintos, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of rice and 4 cups of water, if using pre-cooked rice.
  • IF USING UNCOOKED RICE: 1 cup of uncooked rice and 6 cups of water.
  • 16-20 ounces of pasta or pizza sauce of your choice
  • 2 TB of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
  • one large bell pepper, diced ( I had one-half yellow and one-half red from breakfast to use)-any variety will work
  • 1 TB of black pepper
  • 1 TB of iodized salt (adjust if necessary)
  • 1 large white onion, slivered or diced
  • I did not use any mushrooms in this pictured version, but have in the past. If you have a few lying around- feel free to add!
  • a few (3-4) finely torn basil leaves

Method

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F
Combine all ingredients in oven-safe dish. Stir and bake uncovered for 60-90 minutes (bake times may vary with density of carrots)- or until carrots are soft enough to pierce with a fork and rice has cooked thoroughly. Remove from oven with caution and allow to cool. Enjoy!

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