Saturday, November 18, 2006

Minestrone Soup

I'm always on the look out for soup recipes. I only make three kinds of soup regularly: mushroom, onion, and potato. I would love to find a recipe for chicken noodle soup or a good veggie soup. My perusal of my newest cookbook from BHG, turned up an interesting recipe for minestrone. It is a vegetarian ministrone but had beef bouillon in it giving it the taste of beef. I've found vegetarian dishes lacking in "oomph". I guess I am just a carnivore at heart.

I loved all the different kinds of vegetables in this recipe. I did make one mistake while shopping. I got red kidney beans instead of white kidney beans. Since I don't usually cook with beans, I'm not sure if there is a difference in taste or if the point is just to provide color contrast. Once I had all my ingredients assembled, I took a closer look at the recipe. I was shocked to see how short the cooking time was for all those vegetables. When I make stew, I always cook the veggies much longer.

And I was right. The vegetables didn't cook. The soup itself was alright, but the veggies were just plain raw.

Verdict: What were they thinking???

Minestrone Soup

6 cups water
1 28-oz. can tomatoes, undrained, cut up
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. instant beef bouillon granules
1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 15-oz. can white kidney beans (cannellini beans) or Great Northern beans
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen lima beans or one 9-oz. pkg. forzen Italian-style green beans
4 oz. dried lingiune or spaghetti, broken
1 small zucchini, halved lenghtwise and sliced
2 to 3 Tbsp. purchased pesto(optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, combine the water, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, cabbage, carrot, celery, bouillon granules, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in undrained white kidney beans, lima beans, linguine, and zucchini. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

2. To serve, ladle into soup bowls. If desired, top each serving with about 1 teaspoon of the pesto and pass Parmesan cheese. Makes 8 servings.

Make-ahead directions: Cool soup. Ladle soup into freezer containers. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, in a saucepan, heat soup over low heat until heated through, stirring frequently.

Recycle: tomato and tomato sauce cans, beans can

Compost: onion skins, carrot skins, celery leaves, garlic skins

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