This is a fantastic fail-safe recipe, you really can't go wrong no matter how you make it or how you change it! Unfortunately, I had to give it only 4 stars because my husband didn't like it as much as me-- his complaint was similar to all the other reviews, "it's kinda bland". I think it really comes down to your personal tastes and how you like your minestrone soup-- THIS SOUP HAS A LIGHT BROTH AND IS HEAVY ON THE VEGGIES. If, you're like me and you like your minestrone like that, then this is the soup for you!
Changes I made to adapt to our own tastes: sauteed veggies in one crushed clove of garlic; I used closer to 2 quarts of vegatable broth since the noodles do soak up a lot of the liquid (can adjust broth to your own tastes); used one 14.5oz can of diced tomotoes stewed in garlic, oregano, & basil for more flavor and added one fresh diced tomoato; used about 1/2 tsp. dried thyme since I didn't have fresh thyme laying around (originally used full tsp. but found it overwhelming and had to siphon off some while it was cooking); and since my hubby likes noodles in his soup, I used 1 cup whole wheat noodles (they look white like regular pasta when cooked so no one is the wiser) and cooked them before adding them to the soup so they wouldn't suck up so much of the liquid (they came out to about 2 cups once cooked). Overall, it turned out quite balanced-- you get a little bit of everything you throw in there with each scoop.
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This is a fantastic fail-safe recipe, you really can't go wrong no matter how you make it or...