Monday, October 28, 2013


Here we go guys, the best minestrone recipe ever! I found this recipe a long time ago, it's hidden in my valuable recipe binder! It's based a bit on a food network recipe, but I got some special additions and steps that I picked up from Cristin Dillon Jones, a registered dietitian in Boston, you can check out her blog here,
For the recipe you will need: 2 cans of cannellini beans, 6 cups of chicken stock, a 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, 1-2 cups of small pasta, 3-4 carrots, 3-4 stalks of celery, a big splash of olive oil, and some diced pancetta...

a medium sized onion, I used about 3/4 of this one, 3-5 cloves of garlic roughly chopped, 1/4 head of cabbage, and usually this recipe calls for zucchini but this time I had some fresh green beans I needed to use up so I put those in the soup instead.
You are going to start by pouring a nice glob of olive oil in a stock pot and then frying up the pancetta, until the fat has rendered.
In the mean time dice up your carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Once your fat has rendered from the pancetta and it's browned you can add in the veggies, cover and let them wilt away for about 15-20 mins stirring occasionally.
So here is one of the tricks to this recipe, you will take one can of the beans and rinse them but then take the other with the liquid and pour it all in a food processor and process away until its a nice smooth paste.
Once your veggies are soft and wilted it's time to add in the zucchini or in this case green beans.
Let those go covered for a bit until they are soft.
Next comes your cabbage, this is something you don't typically find in minestrone soup. You'll want to slice it thin and give it a rough chop, you want it to fit on a spoon. Let that go uncovered until it's all nice and soft and wilted. The cabbage works nicely in the soup because of the pancetta, something about pork and cabbage that always goes so well together.
After the cabbage is wilted then add your tomatoes. There is a trick to the tomatoes, first pour them in a strainer and get some liquid off, they are usually nice and soft so you can take a sharp blade across them and give them a rough chop. Now that the tomatoes are stirred in, it's time to pour in your stock, all 6 cups of it.
Now bring this to a rolling boil and add in your small pasta. I let the pasta go for 5 minutes and then add the beans both the solid and the puree. The puree makes the soup a bit more hearty and creamy. This is when I like to season the soup, there is generally enough salt from the stock, I add some ground pepper, oregano, sage, and thyme.
Then you can lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook away until you want to serve it up with a healthy sprinkle of some fresh Parmesan cheese and a crunchy bread. I made this huge batch because hubs is about to take a nice long trip away and this way I can thaw some of this out of the freezer to be sure I get a balanced dinner and not just a bowl of cereal.

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