Minestrone – Italian Soup

You have probably had this soup some time during your life, and probably as a kid. It most likely came out  of a can, you added water, and brought it up to temperature. I know I was one of those kids. We are big kids now, and big kids (and little) deserve much better than canned soup.

Minestrone - Italian Soup

Minestrone in my opinion equates to big bowl of Italian soup, loaded with great vegetables, stock, and tiny pasta. Meat is optional on this one, however I used bacon in mine of course, and a tiny bit of stew meat. Your end result is a soup that is extremely hearty, and a soup that you can really make your own. Lets just say it is a good way of using up your vegetables, throwing them in a pot, and the end result is something that is going to blow that can a soup that you had as a kid, far, far away. This is one of those soups that after a bit of chopping of veggies, you can leave on the stove, on low, teasing your household with wonderful smells. Enough said, lets get that bowl of soup on your table!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of good bacon, diced (optional)
  • 1/4 lb beef stew meat (optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of cannelinni beans
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 quarts of vegetable stock
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 3/4 cup of dried orzo
  • Fresh grated or sliced Parmigiano-Reggiano

Don’t get me wrong here. You add whatever else you might want to add. Some like cabbage, and others like spinach. I did not have those on hand, so they got left out, hence what makes Minestrone so awesome. You end up with a killer veggie soup, with a killer herb broth, and the saltiness from the cheese. C’mon now. Lets keep going.

Get your soup pot heated up. Add in the chopped bacon  and cook until nice and crisp. Add in the beef stew. You will use the bacon fat to cook the vegetables, until tender. So, once the bacon is crisp, add in the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Throw in a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and give a good stir. Add in the tomatoes, broth, and your herbs. Mix again. Cover, and cook for at least one hour. I keep mine on the stove, on low for about 2-3 hours.

Before you are ready to serve, toss in the orzo and cook for about 20-30 minutes. Remove your bay leaves as you do not want those floating in a bowl. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed. Just before serving in your bowls, add the diced zucchini, and give a nice stir. Ladle in your soup bowls and either grate, or slice some of the Parmigiano-Reggiano onto the top of the soup. Dig in and enjoy. My wife and I ate this for a couple of days, and it was really great. Packed full of flavor and healthy ingredients, you cannot go wrong on this soup. Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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