Minestrone soup, a Classic.

Minestrone soup, a Classic.

Makes about 3 quarts, you are going to have made at least 2 quarts of brown stock before making this.

This is an Italian soup made from a bunch of different vegetables.  Even zucchini blooms with elbow macaroni and other pastas and yes, even rice is added instead of dried beans. Remember though do not add raw pasta or rice to this because it will take up a lot of liquid. Sweet sausage and smoked spareribs can also be added at the end.  I will add a few sprigs of fresh basil garnish at the end and 1/8 of a teaspoon of dried oregano to this when I sauté the veg. It’s up to you to do what you like though.

What you will need for the basic recipe;

Soak in 3 to 4 times the water over night (remove any that float) and cook until tender in the same water.

Bring them to a slow boil cook until tender. To check and see if they are cooked, Place a few in a spoon and blow on them. If the skin comes away from the meat they are tender and done. Discard the ones you have blown on.  

½ cup dried kidney beans

½ cup of lentils or chick peas

Drain the beans and sauté in

3 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ lb of diced salt pork

When the pork is crisp remove and hold them back. You will use them later.

Then sauté in the fat from the pork

¼ cup of diced white onion. When the onion golden brown add and continue to sauté

1 cup of chopped cabbage

 1 diced leek

½ cup of diced carrot

1 cup of diced zucchini or vegetable marrow

1 crushed and pressed clove of garlic.

Remove this from the heat and add;

¼ cup of fresh peas, 1 cup of diced Roma tomatoe, 1 teaspoon of salt.

Have ready made and standing by 2 quarts of brown stock (I have already told you how to make this in first blog.

Now add the drained beans to the stock bringing this to a slow boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Add the sautéed veg and continue to cook this for about 15 minutes longer. Add a healthy grating of black pepper and season to taste. Serve this topped with the rendered pork you have held back and top with fresh grated Parmesan of Asiago cheese. 

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About teachkitchenskills

A chef and butcher with some 40 years of experience in both fields
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