Last year we declared August ‘soup month’ here at An Eat’n Man, so I figured, here it is August again, so why not some more soup recipes?
To start off this month with a bang, here’s one of my all time favorite soups, Minestrone. I first discovered this soup as a kid…yes, in a Campbell’s Soup can. That was decent enough to pique my interest back then, and inspire in me mild dreams of an indolent, 1950s Italy where Dean Martin songs perpetually play, and iron cauldrons of hearty minestrone soups simmer away, ready to greet friends and travelers alike.
I got closer to realizing that dream when I started making my own minestrone. Here I was able to tweak things and adjust this or that to get the soup just like I like it. If you’ve ever make it yourself, you’ve probably discovered that there are about as many minestrone recipes out there as there are stelline in the skies over Planet Pasta. Well, nothing wrong with that. Minestrone has always been a common person’s soup, something kept on the hob to feed the family throughout the day, or when extra guests arrived. It was always made with whatever was in season or at hand. For this reason, I go with a mix of fresh and canned veggies, but feel free to use all fresh if you like. (or all canned) Just give everything a long simmer and you’ll come out all right.
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Oz Salt Pork, Diced
2-3 Celery Stalks, Chopped
3 Medium Carrots, Chopped
1 Large Onion, Diced
1 Large Zucchini, Chopped
8 Oz Fresh Green Beans, Cut
2-3 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
1 28 Oz Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 8 Oz Can Tomato Sauce
48 Oz Chicken Broth
1 14 Oz Can Cannellini Beans
1 14 Oz Can Kidney Beans
1 14 Oz Can Diced New Potatoes
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/4 Cup Stellini Pasta
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Parmesan Cheese to Serve
Heat Olive Oil in Large Soup Pot. Dice the Salt Pork:
Yes, it looks a lot like bacon, but it packs a lot more of a salty punch, so use with caution.
Simmer the Salt Pork for a few minutes until it begins to brown. (You could substitute pancetta for the salt pork if you like) Add the diced onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and simmer a couple minutes more. Add the Celery and Carrots and simmer for a few minutes more.
Dice and cut your Zucchini and Green Beans
Add and allow to soften for a few minutes.
Add the Chopped Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce.
Simmer for a minute and then add the Chicken Broth.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for twenty minutes or so until the veggies have softened properly.
Drain the Cannellini and Kidney Beans and add them to the pot, along with the New Potatoes. Add the Herbs and the dried Stellini Pasta. Allow the soup to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, then taste. Add Salt and Pepper as necessary to taste. (Taste before you add any salt, the Salt Pork will have contributed a good bit)
Serve hot, topped with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan and perhaps a piece of crusty Italian bread on the side.
Until Next Time,