Sunday, August 2, 2009

Minestrone Soup

This is a really yummy recipe that's from a cookbook that I like. Don't worry though, I change it a lot! Now, I think all the vegetables are good that are in the broth. So if you want to just combine everything and take out the peppercorns, broccoli stems and the bay leaf then it will be great!!! I'll do the broth ingredients separate just in case~

Makes about 8 servings

2 tbsp olive oil
4 pancetta slices, chopped(I don't use it of course.)
1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups vegetable broth(you can use canned but I like to make it fresh. look at the bottom)
1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
One 3-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind
1/2 cup bow tie pasta
1/2 cup chopped plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper as needed
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to garnish

1. Get all vegetables ready. Heat oil in a soup pan over medium heat. If you are using the pancetta, then add it and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat has rendered from the pancetta and it begins to color and crisp, about 3 minutes.
2. Add all vegetables. Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent.
3. Add the broth and Parmesan cheese rind. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 30-40 minutes. Don't overcook them.
4. When all the vegetables are tender, add the pasta, tomatoes, chickpeas, kidney beans and continue to simmer until the pasta is fully cooked and all the vegetables are very hot, about 20 minutes. Remove and throw away Parmesan rind. Add salt and pepper. Serve and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Vegetable Broth

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced shallots
10 cups water
3 cups sliced leeks, white, light-green, and dark-green parts
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced onions
1 cup thinly sliced broccoli stems
1 cup thinly sliced fennel( with some tops)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/3 cup thinly sliced parsnip
1 tbsp salt, or to taste
4 to 5 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 sprig fresh thyme

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and saute, stirring frequently, until they and translucent, 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the broth slowly up to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the broth has a good flavor , 45-50 minutes.
3. Strain the broth and then add it to the soup.

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