Thursday, February 14, 2013

Minestrone soup

This is the first time I've made minestrone. The highlight for me was the cannellini beans. I'd like to keep working on this recipe and make it with no potatoes next time so I can freeze it. I freeze my bacon strips so it's easy to slice them into a paper-clip size when needed. I have to remember to make this in summer when the vegetables will be in season!

Minestrone soup

2 onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 strips of bacon, sliced into paperclip-sized strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
one bunch Swiss chard or kale, ribs discarded and leaves chopped
one can of white beans
one can of chickpeas
piece of parmesan cheese, diced
8-9 cups of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
chopped fresh herbs - thyme, rosemary, parsley
two cups of small new potatoes, halved
two cups of rotini pasta
olive oil for frying

Fry the bacon in the bottom of a stock pot on medium heat. Drain off and discard all but one tablespoon of the fat. Add a bit of olive oil to the pan. Add the mirepoix - celery, carrots, onions - and garlic and fry seven to 10 minutes until softened but not browned.

In the meantime, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with some of the chicken stock. Set aside.

When the mirepoix mixture has softened, add the Swiss chard, whole beans, chickpeas and potatoes, stirring for a couple turns around the pot after adding each ingredient to combine. Add the chicken stock, blended beans, parmesan, bay leaves and herbs. Bring to a boil and let simmer bout 45 minutes. Add the pasta at the beginning of the last 12 minutes of cooking.

Discard the bay leaves before eating.


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