2013 was definitely a challenging year for me and didn’t allow me to tend to my food blog. I really missed blogging and missed cooking. However, we did not starve! Our supremely generous friends and family made meals for us during my radiation treatments and during my surgery recovery.
It was so wonderful – we had some delicious meals that were new to us. I’m still waiting on some recipes, hint. hint.
While waiting on the recipes from my friends and family, the first new meal of the new year was found in my new cookbook that I received as a Christmas present. I highly recommend it for easy, yummy soup recipes. (Our family loves soup).
Minestrone with Parmesan / easy soups (pg 20)
Servings: 4 (I actually doubled this recipe for us)
Cook & Prep Time: 25 minutes for prepping / 35-40 minutes for cooking
You will need:
- 5 to 7-qt stock pot
- Wooden spoon
- Chef’s knife
- measuring utensils – dry and liquid
1/4 Cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 Carrots, chopped
4 Celery stalks, chopped
1 Red Onion, chopped
6 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons of Flatleaf Parsley, freshly chopped
3 Teaspoons of Tomato Paste
14 oz can of plum tomatoes, chopped (I bought can of crushed tomatoes)
4 cups of Chicken or Vegetable stock
14 oz can of Borlotti Beans (what? I used navy beans – they are a good substitute)
Parmesan rind (optional)
5 oz of spring greens, shredded (I used baby spinach)
3 1/2 oz of spaghetti, broken up
Salt and black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Chop the vegetables and put them in a bowl: Red Onion, Carrots, Garlic and Celery.
In the soup pot over low to medium low heat, heat the olive oil and add the vegetables. Saute the vegetables, covered for about 10-15 minutes (or until thoroughly softened).
Add the parsley, tomato paste and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Next, add the stock and beans (whatever the variety) and bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. If you have the parm rind, add it here.
Add the pasta and cook for as long as the directions call for (about 7-8 minutes). Can we talk about the spaghetti? Against my gut, I used the broken spaghetti, but it just doesn’t work well in a soup. It was frustrating to eat for everyone. I would recommend a short pasta: rotini, penne, or farfalle. That was the only critique of the soup – everyone loved the flavor.
When the pasta is almost done, add the greens so they can wilt into the soup. Also, this is where to add the salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, dish into pasta bowls and garnish with a small dollop of sour cream and freshly shaved parmesan cheese. I also served some awesome fresh bread.
This recipe received a thumbs up from everyone despite the spaghetti. It also reheats really well and tastes better the next day.