Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home Cookin' - Soup for Thanksgiving? Try Minestrone

Howdy all.  This is not a fast and furious recipe.  It will take you a few hours, but the end result is worth it.
Let's start with the ingredients so you can get your mise' en place working. I adapted the recipe from Ruth Reichl's Gourmet cookbook.
  • 1-14 oz. can of great northern beans
  • 1/2 lb of new or boiling potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 lb bacon or pancetta...or 1/2 a pound, if you are a pork fiend
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 large carrot 1/4" cube
  • 2 zucchini, about 1 lb. total, 1/4-1/2" cube
  • 1/4 lb green beans cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 cups shredded Savoy cabbage....basically one small head
  • 1/2 lb of dark kale trimmed and chopped
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes, approximately 30 oz., drained
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • black pepper to taste
  • shredded parm for topping

Here's most of the mise'.  Remember to make cut everything down to the size you want it to be on the spoon.  I would have probably cut my zucchini a little finer....So you start by heating the oil in a big pot.  Let it shimmer, then add your pork of choice. Saute until just browned.
Add your onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, until they are softened, then....
Add your carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook for five minutes, stirring, then....
Add your beautifully cubed potatoes.  Continue cooking those for five minutes, stirring, then....
Add your 1/2" cut fresh green beans.  Continue cooking and stirring for five minutes, stirring, then...
Add your perfectly cubed zucchini.  Continue cooking and stirring for another five minutes, then...
Stir in your kale.  Let that cook down for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then add...
Your Savoy cabbage.  Same deal...cook down for a few minutes, then add about 4 cups of the chicken stock and....
Your tomatoes.  I used some canned fire-roasted tomatoes.  When I make it again I may go fresh.  Always a better option if you can, though finding good tomatoes at this time of year can be a challenge.  Stir this all together and let it simmer for an hour.
After an hour, pure 1/2 the white beans and the liquid from the can in a food processor, then add the the pureed and unpureed beans to the soup. 
Stir and serve with a sprinkle of shredded parm on top. You will be pleased with your efforts.  If it's too thin, let it simmer a little longer.  Too thick?  Add some of the reserved chicken stock.  As an aside, this can be prepared a day or two in advance and refrigerated.  The flavors have a chance to come together and you won't be stuck doing all of this on Thanksgiving while the rest of your family is getting drunk on your beaujolais nouveau.
If you try it leave me a message and let me know how it goes!

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