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Saturday, March 06, 2021
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I was surprised to learn that minestrone came about as early as the second century BCE, when Rome conquered Italy and new vegetables flooded the market. It was also known as an Italian peasant’s dish or poor man’s soup. Originally, it contained onion, garlic celery tomatoes and carrots, and pasta seems to have been a later addition.

My Minestrone

Servings: 6-8

I like to make a big soup pot of this and then ladle some into containers to freeze.

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • ¾ cup chopped onions
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 chopped leek
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • 2 chopped turnips
  • 1½ cups chopped zucchini
  • 1½ cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons beef soup bouillon
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 chopped bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ cup small pasta
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large soup pot, heat margarine. Sauté onions, garlic and leek.

Add vegetables, water and spices, but not pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Add pasta and cook for 15 minutes.

Ladle into soup bowls and add Parmesan cheese.

Tomatoey Minestrone

Servings: 8

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1¾ cups Italian diced tomatoes
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pareve chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • ½ cup small shell or elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup red beans
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • ½ small sliced zucchini
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large soup pot heat oil. Add onion, garlic and seasoning and sauté.

Add tomato juice, tomatoes, 1½ cup water and bouillon. Bring to a boil.

Add vegetables and macaroni. Cook for 10 minutes. Add beans, cabbage and zucchini. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Serve with cheese if desired.

Root Vegetable Minestrone

Servings: 6

(This is adapted from a recent Food & Wine offering.)

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • 2 sliced parsnips
  • 3 broccoli stems or chopped kohlrabi
  • 3 cups cubed, peeled, cut butternut squash
  • 6 cups pareve chicken bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup angel hair pasta broken into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup grated cheese

In a soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion, garlic and rosemary and cook until the onion is soft.

Add carrots, parsnips, broccoli or kohlrabi and squash, and cook for 1 minute. Add bouillon,      salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes.

In a frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add pasta and cook, stirring  frequently, about 4 minutes.

Add pasta to soup. Cook until tender, 5-6 minutes. Discard rosemary.

Stir cheese into soup and serve.

By Sybil Kaplan

 

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