It snowed yesterday. A rarity here in Tennessee, but we were pissed. Upset? Why? It’s just snow? Well, we grew up in the snow – 18 years of winters running from September through May. I’ve had one too many June snowstorms for my liking. So we left. Our 4 years in California was a safe bet, but when we move to Tennessee we knew that they got snow ‘rarely’. We can deal with rarely. At least we don’t have to drive in it. But we were upset nonetheless.
Anyways, snow means soup, and canned soup just doesn’t cut it.
So we made this pot of love… homemade minestrone.
And it was good.
It’s a recipe by no means set in stone. Use whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. Same goes for beans and pasta. The original also called for a dollop of homemade pesto on top, which would be delicious as well.
However, unless you are a family of 8 or really like leftovers for days on end, you might want to consider halving this recipe. It makes a lot. I’m sure it’d freeze nicely, to save for other (hopefully not) snowy days, but Taylor was adamant enough that he would eat it all that we didn’t try to freeze it. We’ll see about that.
Rustic Winter Minestrone Soup
Recipe from What’s For Lunch Honey?
Makes 6-8 servings.
1 can mixed colored beans (use whatever beans you like best)
3 potatoes – diced
4 carrots – diced
3 parsnips – diced
2 onions – finely chopped
4 tomatoes – roughly chopped
2-4 slices bacon – diced (optional)
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leaf
Large handful flat leaved parsley – chopped
8 cups vegetable stock
1/2 lb. pasta (save the other half box and cook it later with leftovers)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Place the beans along with the soaking water in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 1 hour, until soft. Alternatively, use your pressure cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. SautÃ© for 3-4 minutes.
In a pan heat the oil and, if using, sautÃ© the bacon until crispy. Add the onions and all the vegetables except for the tomatoes and beans, and cook until they begin to brown and soften, about 10 minutes.
Now add the tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, and vegetable stock. Bring to a rolling boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the beans and then add to the soup. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a separate pot according to the instructions. Drain well. Divide pasta into bottom of bowls, and then spoon soup over top. Keep leftover pasta separate from soup to avoid sogginess.