I made a huge batch of Minestrone Soup (modified from this link ) yesterday, man it is sooo good! I think this beats Leona's, which is one of my favorites! I learned that...
This soup has a beautifully rich broth, not too tomatoey, tons of veggies. Reading the ingredients, I didn't think there would be enough. I was SO wrong.
I don't think I have truly appreciated the texture of soaked dry beans vs. the canned variety until now. Don't take the shortcut, it was so worth the wait!
I did use salt pork in the beans, which I have never cooked with before. I didn't cut it up as suggested because it seemed completely flavorless. Next time I would leave this out because the veggie beef stock adds enough flavor, plus then I can share with my veggie friends :-)
I used Better than Bouillon vegetarian beef stock and a total of 2 tsp salt.
I love my emulsion blender. I think its the most amazing tool in my kitchen!
I also made1 lb of ditalini pasta separately to go into the soup. In the future, I think I could leave out or 1/2 the potato. I like just a little pasta added to each bowl of soup right before serving. This way the soup doesn't lose all its yum yum broth sucked up by the noodles or get too starchy.
So here is the modified recipe...
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
2 C Dry Great Northern Beans
8 C cold water (for soaking)
12 cups hot water (to be mixed with beef broth concentrate)
4 T (Vegetarian Better Than Boullion) beef broth concentrate
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 med onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
3 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 sm head savoy cabbage, cut in 1” cubes
1 sm potato, diced
3 sm zucchini, diced
1 C loosely packed parsley, chopped
2-15 oz cans diced tomato, not drained
2 teaspoons Salt
fresh ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
1. Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain beans, rinse, and place them in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add 6 cups of broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently for about 1 hour.
2. In a separate large stockpot, heat oil. Add chopped vegetables (onion, celery, carrot, garlic) and sauté gently 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add remaining vegetables and tomatoes, salt and pepper. Add 6 cups broth. Simmer for 40 to 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. When the beans are done, blend half the beans to a paste using an emulsion blender or food processor. Add all the beans and bean broth into the stockpot. Taste soup and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Simmer 10 minutes longer.
4. Rinse & clean the bean pot. Bring salted water to boil. Cook the ditalini pasta al dente or to taste. Drain pasta and set aside.
5. Serve soup with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and ¼ C of ditalini pasta per bowl.
Makes at least 24 C of soup.