Pastes

Minestrone Soup……

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Nothing beats the winter chill like a steaming bowl of soup …

Minestrone is a thick, hearty soup with any combination of leafy greens, vegetables and beans. This beloved Italian favorite can be thrown together with whatever’s in your pantry & is a meal in itself. The best part is that this soup is an excellent source of fiber and tastes awesome with a side of salad and bread sticks or grilled cheese sandwich ……

Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 45
Serves : 3 – 4

Ingredients :

1 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced white onions (about 1 small onion)
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
2 Tbs cut green beans
2 Tbs minced celery
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup canned red kidney beans , drained
1/2 cup canned small white beans or great northern beans, drained
1 /2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup carrots, julienned or shredded
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt as per taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups hot water
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup small shell pasta

Directions

Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.

Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add vegetable broth to pot, plus tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve with cheese sprinkled over the top Along with salad & Bread sticks or any bread of your choice..

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Homemade Thai sweet-chili-sauce….

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Thai sweet chili sauce is super easy to make and It only takes a few minutes to put together, and the best part is that you can find everything you need for it in your pantry or at your local grocery store .
I use it as a dipping sauce for Asian flavored appetizers or egg rolls, pot stickers, dumplings or vegetables. This sauce is very versatile since it is easy for dipping and it is easy to incorporate in other dishes as a sauce, marinade or flavor enhancer . It can be used as a marinade for a variety of meats or as a delicious sauce for rice, noodles and salads.

3/4 cup of Sugar
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup of water
1 tbsp finely minced garlic (about 6 garlic cloves)
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes ( or to taste )
1 teaspoon Sriracha OR Schezwan sauce
1 tbsp of cornstarch
1 tbsp of cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt OR to taste

Instructions:

Add 1/4 cup water, rice vinegar, and sugar to a pot over medium-high heat. When the mixtures starts to boil, add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring the boil down to a simmer and let it simmer for another 7 to 10 minutes. This will make sure all of the flavors get infused nicely.
Add the sriracha.
In a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 1 TB cold water until the cornstarch is dissolved.
Bring the sauce to a low boil again and add the cornstarch/water mixture and salt.
The sauce will begin to thicken up immediately. Cook, while constantly stirring, until the mixture reaches desired thicknessā€¦about 3-5 minutes.
Let the sauce cool and then dip away .

If Bottled in an air-tight container this sauce lasts a long time in the fridge.

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