Thursday, August 14, 2008


Italian for "big soup" is minestrone. There seems to be no standard recipe for this staple of Italian cuisine, probably because it was considered a poor man's meal made from whatever was available in the garden. It can be made with or without meat. The recipe I use is one I have tweaked a bit that I found in a vegetarian cookbook from Sunset magazine. It is wonderfully hardy and flavorful. And very versatile.

This time I don't have a picture of the ingredients. I took the picture and documented the whole procedure with more pictures. Then I loaded the pictures on the computer, then I deleted them (clumsy fingers) and when I downloaded them again to the computer the one of the ingredients was gone. So, I'm a technitard...I admit it. That means you guys are going to have to figure out what the ingredients are from this picture.

Just kidding!

The Ingredients

3 TBS. olive oil
1-2 onions chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced, grated or pressed
6 cups chopped fresh's what I used
zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, turnips, potato,
green beans. You could also use celery, fresh peas,
basically anything in your garden
1 can kidney beans or white beans
1 can garbanzo beans
8 cups vegetable stock (I use bouillon cubes)
1 tsp. each oregano, basil, rosemary (all dry)
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup small pasta
2 cups shredded cabbage
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for topping the bowls of soup

This again starts out pretty much the same way as my other soups with sauteeing the onion and garlic in a large soup pot about 5 minutes or so. Something I think a person should always keep in mind when making soup is that nothing is set in stone (unless you are making stone soup...I know, I know). I firmly believe that making soup requires intuition and an understanding of what flavors work together. I give measurements...but I rarely measure. That's probably why I like making soups! Less work. Alright, back to work.

Now that the onions and garlic are all yummy, dump in the broth, the beans with juice, all the veggies, and the spices.
Bring to a simmer, lower heat, cover and cook for 30 minues.
Stir in tomato paste and pasta and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, until pasta is tender.

Now dump all that pretty cabbage into the soup and cook until just wilted. You could also use spinach, chard or kale. It is all in what you prefer. Salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls, top with fresh grated parmesan, and serve with a nice crusty bread. Salut!

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