Monday, January 14, 2013

Classic Minestrone

Classic Minestrone
It is cold outside.   Today, our high is to be only  28 degrees F. We are something like 20 degrees below our normal temperature.    That is what I call cold!  To warm ourselves up I made some Minestrone Soup.  This is a very tasty soup that is loaded with veggies, pasta and beans. You have your  onions, carrots, potatoes, celery,  savoy cabbage, and spinach all cooked in a rich broth.  You can use water or veggie broth if you wish. Add beans and pasta to the soup and flavor with salt, pepper, garlic,  fresh thyme and dried basil. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.  Your meal is ready to serve.  I served my soup with a large sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and some hearty bread.   A wonderful and satisfying meal that is economical and easy to prepare.

Classic Minestrone
Adapted from Womans Day


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
Kosher Salt and Pepper, divided
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
8 cups chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth or water)
1/2 small head savoy cabbage, cored, quartered and cut into 1-inch thick strips
1 cup Ditalini pasta
1 (15.5 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby spinach
Parmesan Cheese


1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions, season with 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and pepper.  Cook, covered, stirring occasionally until very tender, 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
2. Add the carrots, celery, potato, thyme, dried basil and chicken broth (vegetable broth or water) and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the cabbage and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.
4. Discard the thyme.  Stir the pasta and beans into the soup and cook until the beans are heated through, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the spinach, folding until beginning to wilt.
5. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.  Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Makes 6 servings

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