Friday, December 30, 2011

Minestrone Soup

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cook's Note:
The following recipe started out as an original one from Better Homes and Garden cookbook Cooking Italian.  By the time I completed the soup pulling ideas from several other sources I can confidently say it is now my own recipe because of all the changes made. The completed recipe makes about 18 cups or 4-1/2 quarts and freezes well. My family really liked the robust flavor. It is a very filling soup so it only needs to be served with bread/bread sticks and fruit or a salad. It can be vegetarian dish by just omitting the sausage and use vegetable broth rather than the chicken or beef broth. Despite the fact there are a long list of ingredients it was easy to put together and quite worth the effort.
Minestrone is an Italian peasant vegetable soup made with fresh seasonal vegetables often with the addition of pasta and meat. There is no set recipe for Italians because the soup is usually made with what vegetables are in season. There are countless versions of Minestrone soup but all recipes do include common ingredients: beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock and tomatoes. 
Minestrone Soup
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 TB. Olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 can chicken broth or beef or vegetable (make sure the broth is low sodium0
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (I bought a package of coleslaw mix to use)
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 2-½ cups water
  • 1 can basil, onion, oregano chunky tomatoes
  • 1cup diced zucchini
  • 1 can northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small package frozen Italian style vegetables (not thawed)
  • ½-3/4 lb. cooked Italian sweet sausage and crumbled in a food processor
  • 2 cups dried pasta shells
  • ½ tsp. sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 TB. dried parsley
  • In oven brown sausage while making the soup
  • In a large Dutch oven or soup pot add olive oil and sauté celery, onion, gallic and carrots till onion is tender but not brown
  • Stir in the broth, tomatoes, cabbage, tomato juice, water, and spices
  • Bring to a boil from a low-medium heat, cover and simmer on low heat about 15 minutes
  • Stir in beans, zucchini, frozen vegetables, dried pasta and cooked meat
  • Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour covered
  • Optional 1/8 cup -1/4 cup red wine added in at end of cooking time
  • To serve be sure to remove bay leaves and top soup serving with grated Parmesan cheese

1 comment:

  1. Oh yummy! Minestrone is one of my favorite soups ever. When I think about it, I guess I've been inadvertently making it for years with my cobbled-together veggie soups!