Now you see it, now you don’t

November 27, 2009

This minestrone is a family favorite and is requested often, especially in the winter months…although it’s great year-round.   It’s especially delicious when served with a nice crusty piece of Italian bread.  I like to make this on Sunday to take with lunch during the week.  This recipe makes a vat, so you might want to plan to freeze some if you don’t think you’ll be able to eat it all through the week.

Minestrone

You need this:

  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 5 cups of water (to add during cooking)
  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-oz) can white (cannellini or navy) beans, drained and rinsed (this cuts down on the sodium content significantly)
  • Handful of peeled baby carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or a couple of fresh sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 cup tiny, beaded pasta (I use Kroger’s Private Selection Acini de Pepe)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 (10 oz.) box of frozen spinach
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Basil sprigs for garnish

To do this:

  • In a large pot, combine broth through s&p.  

    Minestrone Soup

  • Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Thirty minutes before the soup is done, add pasta, zucchini and spinach (I leave the spinach out when I start cooking, and toss it in even if it’s not completely thawed.  This dish always needs more liquid…you will need to add more water or chicken broth as you heat up individual servings later)
  • Cover and cook 30 more minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves and season, to your liking, with s&p. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Garnish with basil, if desired.

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