10.20.2012

Minestrone Soup for Fall

When you cook it yourself , it is always better!

There is something about Fall in New England that just screams Italian food and a good bottle of Chianti. Soups were made for cold and rainy/snowy days. In fact one of my favorites is Minestrone. This soup is famous in Italian cuisine and can be made with pork or vegetarian. I chose the vegetarian one. If you do that you need to make it half with stock (Chicken or Veg. depending on where you land) and half with water. This recipe is loosely based on Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's book and my life growing up.

One of the general rules about soup is that you can put everything in but the kitchen sink. So long as you have enough water/stock and salt/pepper. I don't usually add a lot of salt to my soups because you can always add more but it is hard to take away.

Do NOT be put off by the list of ingredients, this is a very easy recipe to make!

Ingredients:
1 can cannellini, kidney or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed.
1 tbl olive oil
All of the essentials!
1 medium-large onion chopped
3-5 cloves garlic minced
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1-3 tsp dried red pepper flakes (depends on your spice tolerance!)
3 dried bay leaves
1 large Russet potato chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups shredded cabbage
15 cups of water (2.5 qts) boiled
15 cups (2.5 qts) of Chicken or Veg stock boiled
2 small zucchini
1 yellow squash
1/2 cup Ditalini past or other small pasta shapes
Pepper
Salt


Directions:

1. Heat oil in a medium stock pot on medium heat.
2. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 min until they are really soft.
3. Add garlic and cook for another 3-5 min until the onions are golden brown stirring occasionally.
4. Add Tomatoes, red pepper, and bay leaves and cook until a light bubble or about 3 min.
5. Add Carrots, Celery, Potatoes, and season LIGHTLY with salt and pepper and let cook for 2 min.
6. Add Cabbage and then the water and stock and bring to a gentle boil. Add more pepper and a bit more salt
7. Once the soup is at a gentle boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover and let sit for 1 1/2 hours.
8. Turn the heat up to high and add the zucchini and yellow squash and beans. Once it reaches a boil add the pasta and a little bit more salt and pepper.
9. Let the pasta cook on med-low heat, covered, for 8 min.
10. Turn the heat down to low and let sit for 10 min.
11. Serve with ciabatta bread and a good hearty wine and ENJOY!

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