Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gail's Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup
A meal in a bowl!
Serves: 1 (about 3 c)

2 T dried split peas
2 c vegetable stock
¼ c dry elbow macaroni
½ T olive oil
¼ c chopped onion
¼ c chopped carrot
¼ c chopped celery
¼ c chopped zucchini
¼ c chopped tomato
4 oz fresh spinach
1/8 t minced garlic
1/16 t salt
1/16 t oregano
1/32 t basil
1/32 t thyme
1 bay leaf (per pot, not per serving)
1 whole clove (per pot, not per serving)
¼ c canned kidney beans
Freshly ground black peppe
Fresh Parmesan cheese, or a leftover rind
  1. Rinse peas; bring to boil in stock; reduce heat to simmer; cover; cook 30 min.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. When done, remove pasta with slotted spoon, reserving cooking water.
  3. While peas and pasta cook, heat oil in heavy skillet over low heat.
  4. Chop onion roughly same size as macaroni and beans; add to skillet. Repeat with carrot, celery, zucchini, tomato, spinach and garlic, stirring often, until vegetables soften.
  5. Meanwhile, add spices to stock pot.
  6. Stir sautéed vegetables into stock pot; cook, covered, until peas start to disintegrate, another 15 min. Meanwhile, rinse beans twice.
  7. Add beans and macaroni; heat through, adding pasta liquid to desired consistency. If using a cheese rind, toss it in.
  8. Season with freshly ground black pepper before serving; serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
  • Substitute lentils or any dried beans for peas. Dried beans may need to soak overnight before rinsing twice, then boiling.
  • Substitute ½ c cooked macaroni for dry.
  • Substitute ¼ c cooked spinach for raw.
  • Substitute cabbage, escarole or other greens for spinach. Really any vegetable substitutions are fine.
  • Substitute white (cannellini) beans for kidney beans.
  • Substitute winter vegetables (root vegetables, squash) for summer ones (celery, tomato, zucchini).

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