Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index >> Back to Chocolate & Zucchini <<

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages 
 RSS feedLast posts feed   RegisterRegister   Log inLog in 

Minestrone

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index -> Recipe Box
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:53 pm    Post subject: Minestrone Reply with quote

I made this last night for the first time. It's now my very favorite minestrone recipe. I thought puréeing half the beans was an interesting technique. It added some real body to the soup without any fillers.

I'm going to bake some bread and have it again for lunch.

Minestrone

• ½ pound dried white beans such as cannelini, picked over and rinsed
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ pound pancetta or sliced lean bacon, (substitute: Italian sausage)
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2" dice
• 1 rib celery, cut into 1/2" dice
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
• 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2" dice
• ½ pound boiling potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
• 4 cup green cabbage, preferably Savoy, shredded
• ½ pound kale, rinsed, drained, stemed & leaves chopped (about 6 cups)
• 1 28- to 32-oz. can tomatoes, drained and chopped coarsely
• reserved tomato juices
• 4 ½ cup chicken broth
• freshly grated Parmesan
• fresh basil

In a large bowl let the white beans soak in enough water (a pinch each of garlic powder and ginger can be added) to cover them by 2 inches overnight or quick-soak them. Drain the white beans, in a saucepan combine them with enough water to cover them by 2 inches, and simmer them, uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep them barely covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until they are tender. Add the salt and simmer the white beans for 5 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and let the white beans stand, uncovered.

Roughly chop pancetta and, in a heavy kettle cook it in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp and pale golden, add the onion, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the carrots, the celery, and the garlic and cook the mixture, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and the potatoes, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the cabbage and the kale and cook the mixture, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted. Add the tomatoes, reserved juices and the broth and simmer the soup, covered, for 1 hour.

Drain the white beans, reserving the liquid, in a blender or food processor purée half of them with 1 cup of the reserved liquid, and stir the purée and the remaining white beans into the soup. Simmer the soup, uncovered, for 15 minutes, thin it if desired with some of the remaining reserve liquid, and season it with salt and pepper. The soup may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Reheat the soup, thinning it with water as desired. Serve the soup with freshly grated Parmesan and bruschetta.

Notes: Look for darkest kale possible. And, by all means, throw in any Parmesan rinds that you have on hand.

Keywords: cannelini, pancetta, kale, cabbage, zucchini, tomato, Italian

Source: Gourmet Anniversary Cookbook

Servings: 6-10 large servings or about 14 cups
_________________
God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to have a good minestrone recipe, so I'd be happy to give this a try - but am concerned about the meat.

Any way to make this vegetarian-friendly? Would the soup work as it is without bacon (I know many recipes do not include meat) or is there something I can substitute other than sausage? Also, what would you substitute for kale? I don't think it's widely available here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe- I'm sure you could do it entirely without the meat. The olive oil is more than enough to fill in in that respect (I used almost no oil because I had the pancetta fat) and if you think the flavor needs a boost be sure to simmer the soup with a Parmesan rind and grate more into the finished soup as you see fit.

Maybe you'd want to use more beans for additional protein.

Don't know what would substitute for kale. It's in the cabbage family so maybe just stick with the cabbage. The kale is darker (which gives visual interest) and has a stronger flavor. Try using more basil to get the flavor that satisfies you. It would provide both the color and additional flavor.

Hope you enjoy it.
_________________
God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
VictoriaLH



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 87
Location: Madison WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe, I am a vegetarian as well and am pretty good at substituting.
If you are not vegan, you can grate in more of the hard cheeses such as parmesan or asiago than the recipe calls for, that gives the salty taste that the sausage has. And the rinds Rainey suggests would be excellent. There are also alot of vegetarian sausages like Morningstar Farms breakfast links you can add, just cut them up and cook them in a little olive oil first or they will fall apart.
You can also use a nice meaty mushroom, or some dried ones for extra flavour.
Of course just use veggie stock instead of chicken.
Spinach often makes a nice subtitute for kale, use a fresh, very wrinkly one.

I am making Paste e fagioli for dinner tonight which calls for sausages, I am using vegetarian sausages. Its always a great hit in my house.
_________________
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!"
-Auntie Mame
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zoe, most minestrones do not call for meat. And there is a minestrone recipe for very area of Italy, depending on what the local produce is. I would echo Rainey that it would be important to add those cheese rinds both for flavor and for body, unless you're vegan.

I just finished making 8 quarts of minestrone - vegetarian style - which I bag up and freeze. That gives me 4 suppers and 4 lunches for 2 people. I love having it in the freezer for those nights when I get home and I just can't bear the thought of making dinner - even when I have something planned. I just throw it in the pot and heat it slowly, make a salad, heat some bread and - Voila! Dinner!

I do like the idea of pureeing half the beans. that would really give it some nice body!

Great minds think alike, Rainey! I am piqued by the idea of adding the sausage - and the kale!
_________________
L'appetit vient en mangeant. -Rabelais
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Victoria's idea of mushrooms & spinach. And how wonderful that she knows vegetarian cooking.

Donna, I also make my soups in large quantities and freeze smaller portions. I think soup is so warming. Real comfort food!

I had no idea minestrone should be a vegetarian dish. I grew up in an area of mid-state NY where there was a large Italian population and some mighty fine Italian food. We generally had it with pasta included (missing from this recipe), NEVER potatoes and sometimes sausage and sometimes not. Sometimes, but not often as I remember, there was some cabbage.

This recipe is from Gourmet not an Italian cookbook so it may well not be terribly authentic. But it was tasty. ;>
_________________
God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
FoodSciGeek



Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 143
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey,

I hope this means you are out of your cooking slump. Also, I love your new quote!

My dad always made a vegetarian minestrone (although we are far from vegetarians in my family) with a variety of beans and cabbage. We usually ate it with fresh ground parmesan and some nice crusty bread. What a great winter warm-up meal.
_________________
Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon. - The Dalai Lama
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zoe



Joined: 28 Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Location: Haifa, Israel

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone Very Happy . Normally I do ok with substituting, but for some reason I just couldn't come up with anything inspiring... I love VictoriaLH's spinach and mushrooms idea and will definitely give it a try soon.

As for vegetarian sausages, I've never come across any where I live. But I'm more than happy to just add extra cheese and olive oil!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to agree with Rainey that mid-state minestrone doesn't usually have meat in it. I love it with kidney beans and pasta. Although, at that point it could be considered more like pasta e fagioli, which didn't come out as expected last weekend. Confused I think my problem was a lack of liquid, but I don't have space for a big bowl/bag of soup! In any event, it was delicious as bow ties with lots of beans and tomato sauce!

BTW, the hot, crusty bread is definitely my absolute fav part of any soup meal. Very necessary!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Leo



Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 94
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traditional "Millicuselle" (translates to "a thousand little things" in Calabrese) and contains, well not 1,000 things but many many beans and greens. It is one of many types of minestra from the south of Italy. Cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, celery and such are also popular additions. Anything goes.

Some minestra contained meat but not the (then) costly pancetta seen in recipes today. There would have been lesser cuts of meat (and bones or carcasses) to add flavour to the broth but quite often, they were true vegetable soups utilizing whatever was in season, cheese rinds if they had them, thickened by adding pasta and served with a drizzle of olive oil.

If freezing the soup, I leave out the pasta until ready to serve. Soggy pasta doesn't go over well at all.

Mmm, in a beautiful Southern hemisphere summer, I can't in good conscience wish for winter but pasta e fagioli is definitely something I look forward to!
_________________
Vorrei quello che stanno mangiando loro.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index -> Recipe Box All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group