Monday, June 25, 2018

Summer Minestrone

My husband and I loved this veggie-packed soup.  It felt so good and flavorful and healthy.  I loved all the ingredients and especially the fresh basil.  And what a good way to use some of the Parmesan rinds I had in the freezer.

Summer Minestrone
adapted from NY Times

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1 medium turnip or potato, peeled and diced
¾ pound zucchini, diced
A bouquet garni consisting of 1 Parmesan rind, 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs parsley and 3 sprigs thyme, tied together with kitchen string or tied into a piece of cheesecloth
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
6 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
½ cup soup pasta, such as elbow macaroni, little shells, ditalini, or broken spaghetti
¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish

1.  Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven and add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes, and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 more minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about a minute, and stir in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 quarts water, the turnip or potatoes, zucchini, and the bouquet garni, and bring to a simmer. Add 1-2 teaspoons salt (start with 1 and you can add more later), reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 35 minutes. Add the green beans, and cook about 10 minutes longer.  Stir in the canned beans. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bouquet garni.

2.  Add the pasta to the soup and simmer another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked al dente.  Grind in some pepper and taste and adjust seasonings, including salt. It should be savory and rich-tasting.  Stir in the basil. Serve in wide soup bowls, with a sprinkling of Parmesan over the top.

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