Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Favorite Minestrone

There are probablly as many recipes for Minestrone soup as there are for chocolate chip cookies. Minestrone literally translates to "Big Soup." It's a very simple dish, typically containing vegetables in season, meats on hand, beans and rice or pastas. Several years ago I worked at a really great Italian restaurant. They had the best minestrone soup...THE BEST! It wasn't only the flavor that was so unique but the texture. There was a unique technique that they used to thicken the soup which also changed the color. I was so excited when I finally learned how to duplicate the sou from the restaurant! The minestrone was filling and low cal, a perfect combination!

1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Medium Carrots, Chopped into Half Moons
2 Stalks of Celery, Sliced
1 Yellow Squash, Cut into Half Moons
5 Stewed Tomatoes and 1/4 Cup of its Juice
1 Can of Cannolinni Beans
3 Cloves of Garlic, Thinly Sliced
3 Pieces Smoky Bacon, Sliced
1/8 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
5 Quarts Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

1.In a heavy bottomed pan, pour 1 tsp olive oil and add in the bacon. On medium heat, sweat out the bacon so all the oils come out.
2. After the fat has sweated out of the bacon, add in the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Toss to coat with the bacon.
3. Add in the chopped tomatoes and the tomato juice.
4. Add in your chicken stock and bring to a boil.
5. Take 1/4 of the beans and place in a blender or food processor. With a ladle, pour in about one cup of the soup and the veggies into the blender. Blend until a smooth puree. Stir in the mixture slowly into the soup, this will thicken the soup slightly.
6. Add in the rest of the beans, squash and red pepper flakes. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
7. Season to your liking and enjoy!!!

1 comment:

Karen said...

Great tip for thickening with the beans. I like the addition of yellow squash in this.