Minestrone–Good Anytime of the Year

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minestrone

Minestrone-Good Anytime of the Year

4-6 servings

I love this kind of soup—full of veggies, tasty besides and beautiful to look at.  No meat necessary here because the pasta and the chickpeas make for a perfect protein.  It’s also an inexpensive way to feed a group.  If you wish to add a larger variety of veggies, feel free.  Zucchini, crookneck and leaks always make a nice addition.  Sometimes, when serving in pretty shallow bowls, I’ll even float a tablespoon or so of sherry and then top with the shredded Parmesan or Romano.   A nice light desert for this dinner is some poached pears.  Look for the recipe on the blog.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Tblsp. olive oil
  2. 1/2- 3/4 C. diced pancetta (optional)
  3. 2 carrots-peeled and chopped into ¼ inch slices or diced if you wish
  4. 2 stalks celery-chopped into ¼ inch slices or diced if you wish
  5. 2 dried bay leaves
  6. 3-4 peeled garlic cloves-minced
  7. 1 large red onion finely chopped
  8. S&P to taste
  9. 8 oz. sliced mushrooms or 1 oz. dried wild mushrooms, chopped
  10.  One cup cherry tomatoes or 1/2 C. thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  11.  1/4 C. chopped parsley
  12. 1 small bunch purple (or green) organic kale, washed and chopped
  13.  1 C. dry DeLucco small shells pasta—cooked
  14.  5 C. chicken (or veggie) stock
  15.   2 C. chickpeas—if canned, well rinsed
  16.   Romano or Parmesan for topping and possibly Sherry

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the pancetta and cook about 3 minutes. Then add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, onion, parsley and S&P. If you want a thicker soup, now’s the time to add a tablespoon or two of flour.
  3. Stir until the veggies are glistening and soft—about 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, kale and 5 C. chicken stock; bring to a boil. You can also add at this point a favorite dry seasoning of yours.
  5. Turn down heat to medium-heat and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta and the chickpeas and cook about 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and serve accompanied with crusty French bread and topped with Romano or Parmesan cheese.

 

 

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About TempInnKeeper

Margot loves people and is very energetic and organized. She is also a quick study. Her background includes having renovated, owned and operated an 1887 Victorian bed and breakfast in Paso Robles, CA for 5 years. Her guests loved her and she loved her guests. What a perfect combination. Margot’s marketing skills and love of people also was used in her career as a Realtor and in participating in many charitable non-profit organizations. Margot loves to cook and to offer concierge services to people. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland.; has lived all over CA. including Beverly Hills, in the Silicon Valley area, Paso Robles, the San Joaquin Valley as well as in Sun Valley, ID. She has traveled extensively throughout the world; is a CAL alumni (go Bears!); and also speaks French fluently and Spanish semi-fluently. Her interests are people, cooking, arts, books (look at the blog book club and join if you wish), travel, sports, gardening, painting, music, playing classical piano and animals. Margot Van Horn 208-721-3551 PO Box 3788, Ketchum, ID. margot6@mindspring.com TempInnKeeper@mindspring.com

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