08 January 2010

Winter Minestrone Soup ...

A posting and preparation in which these beautiful vegetables become a thing of beauty...
So many friends have been in touch today... all of them commenting on having had some snow overnight or bitter cold that just won't seem to break. I guess we should expect this. It is January, after all. But please! A person needs some warmth in their life in times like these... and once again, I find myself falling back on a hot bowl of soul-satisfying soup. Today, I'm all about a big pot of ...
Minestrone.

Minestrone is typically a way for the cook to use what's available seasonally...and my Minestrone is a typical winter offering. The only glaringly 'out-of-season' addition is the baby zucchini that I snagged at the market yesterday. I knew I was going to make soup today. I have been craving Minestrone, so I also grabbed some black olives, crusty Ciabatta roll, some good Fontina and cheddar, and a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Winter Minestrone Soup - printer friendly

Minestrone Soup – 1/8/10

In the stockpot, sauté until the onions glisten and start to become translucent:

3 stalks celery, small chop
1 medium onion, small chop
2 carrots, peeled, sliced lengthwise, small chop
2 garlic cloves, minced

Add and toss constantly until limp:

2 c. Savoy cabbage, chopped into thin ribbons

Add and stir in:

10 c. water
4 vegetable broth cubes (I prefer Knorr product) – each cube makes two cups of broth
1 beef broth bouillon cube (ditto)
1 can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen product is very good)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. Montreal Steak seasoning (McCormick Spices product)
                                                                                                                     
Let the broth work for a half hour over medium-low heat.
Add and lower the heat to a simmer:

1 can (15.5 oz.) Cannellini beans
1 large potato, peeled, small chop

Cover and simmer until the potato is almost tender.
Add:

2 small zucchini, chopped into small cubes                                                   
1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
½ c. pasta (small shells/ditalini/orzo)

Cook until zucchini is tender. Correct the seasonings and serve.




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2 comments:

  1. This sounds wonderful - even for breakfast!
    One thing to try instead of bouillon cubes is Superior Touch Better than Boullon base http://www.superiortouch.com/retail/products/better-than-bouillon. One of the chefs for prepared food at my local market turned me on to using base instead of the dehydrated cubes. No MSG, low sodium, and made from real meat and/or vegetables. It also is available in organic, vegetarian and kosher varieties.
    Base has to be refrigerated after opening so doesn't keep forever like cubes, but I use the chicken and beef varieties enough to always use them up before the expiration dates. They have become a staple in my kitchen.

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  2. I am there. Love soups and bread albiet not so much anymore but the aroma is something to die for.

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