Sunday, January 10, 2010

another recipe for minestrone??

if you do a search for minestrone soup recipes you will get 165k hits (at least i did) why do we need #165,001??... a question i asked myself when starting this post. i guess my only answer is that i really, really like my version....i make it all the time...and i find it delicious, easy, comforting and incredibly works year round so fresh, local, organic/sustainably grown ingredients always make the best choice....and...because i have lots of vegetarian/vegan friends...i can make a big pot of this hearty, filling soup whenever friends want to stop by....

i did a bit of research regarding the etymology of the name minestrone... provided the following response:

"There are three Italian words corresponding to the English word 'soup': zuppa, which is used in the sense of tomato soup, or fish soup; minestra, which is used in the sense of a more substantial soup such as a vegetable soup, and also for 'dry' soups, namely pasta dishes; and minestrone, which means a very substantial or large soup, though the meaning has now come to be associated with this particular dish. "

my recipe certainly meets the criteria of "very substantial or large soup". you really only need a simple salad, good bread and some excellent cheese...a bottle or two of your favorite wine...and you have a perfect dinner anytime...but i am partial to sunday supper. there is something very comforting about chopping the vegetables, simmering the soup and enjoying an easy, comforting meal with family and friends....

feel free to experiment with whatever vegetables are in season...i mix it up with summer squashes, winter squashes, green beans, all types of onions, shallots, garlic, red potatoes, yukon get the idea...whatever you like. and, while your favorite hot italian sausage is perfect...i make mine with a vegan version that even the most committed meat eater will feel free to experiment...and let me know your favorite combination....
farmhouse minestrone
2 pounds italian sausage (i use vegetarian favorite brand is field roast try the chipolte...delicious!!)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 leeks, washed and diced (white and tender green parts)
2 carrots (chopped into bite sized pieces)
1 white onion, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28 oz can whole peeled san marzano tomatoes
1 pound sweet potatoes or yams, unpeeled, cut into bite sized pieces
2 quarts, excellent quality vegetable broth (if not homemade, i recommend the imagine brand)
2 cups cooked cannellini beans (even easier, use organic canned beans)
2 cups chopped swiss chard
1 cup freshly shelled peas (or organic frozen in a pinch)
8 oz. small shaped dried pasta...i use the shape ditalini which are little tubes which i like with the broth of the soup.
1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup italian parsley, minced
grey salt
freshly cracked black pepper
wedge of parmigiano-reggiano for grating over soup
very green "big" extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

cut the sausage into bite sized pieces. add to a large stock pot and cook over medium heat until the sausage in browned on all sides...stir frequently while cooking to avoid burning. when sausage is cooked drain off the fat and return sausage to stockpot. add the olive oil, leeks, carrots, onion and garlic to stockpot and sauté until onions are translucent. strain the tomatoes (reserve the juice) and rough chop into bite sized pieces. add chopped tomatoes, tomato juice, sweet potatoes and vegetable broth to pot and simmer over low heat until potatoes are just beginning to soften. add the cannellini beans and cook for another ten minutes. add the swiss chard, peas, pasta, red pepper flakes and italian parsley to soup and cook for another 7-11 minutes until pasta is al dente (follow package directions but do not allow the pasta to overcook). season to taste with the grey salt and black pepper... serve in large soup bowls with a drizzle of the e.v.o.o....pass the parmigiano-reggiano and a grater to allow your guests to add as little (or as much!!!)cheese as they like.

so....minestrone is on my list for a few football playoff sundays...what are you cooking?


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style"
follow me on twitterto receive special offers only available to our preferred customers, please sign up for the mailing list on the right hand side of this post...


Sara said...

I don't have a go-to recipe for Minestrone. I think I will have to adopt yours. Sounds yummy! I plan to make it this weekend and will let you know how it turns out.

Mary Ann said...

Will be making the soup this weekend. Looks delicious. Keep on blogging.

Nancy Yoakum said...

Sounds heavenly! We have been in soup mode around here with the temperatures so low, but we are having a "heat" wave, going to be in the 30-40's, I won't know what to do with myself. Already thinking about strawberries and Limoncello!


Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi sara and mary ann...thank you for the comments. did you enjoy the minestrone?

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

hi acorn cottage...ahhh...strawberries and limoncello....after ten non-stop days of longing for warm weather....we just made this year's batch of limoncello...80 days from now it will be ready...hopefully, so will the weather...