Thursday, 13 September 2012

Minestrone Soup



Minestrone is Italian for “big soup”. Traditionally, it’s a vegetable soup with beans and pasta in it. It’s also meant to be a mix and match deal. Substitute ingredients freely when you’re making this. You can add meat, greens like kale or spinach or omit ingredients your family doesn’t enjoy. Have fun; be creative.

Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup diced carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of beef, vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 540 ml/ 19 oz can beans or lentils
  • 1 cup diced potatoes
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 can (796 ml/ 28 oz) tomatoes
  • 1 cup dried pasta (any small shape)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (1 Tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (1 Tablespoon fresh)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (2 teaspoons fresh)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
1.  Cook the pasta in boiling water until tender, drain and set aside.
2.  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and sauté until the vegetables have softened.
3.  Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the reserved pasta) and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4.  Put some of the cooked pasta in a bowl and ladle the hot soup over it. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese (optional).

We cook the pasta separate from the soup because the pasta stays firm instead of becoming mushy when it’s put into the soup. This recipe makes a big pot with plenty for leftovers. Cooking the pasta seperately means the next day's soup is still awesome, instead of starchy.  

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