I have never had a hankering for minestrone. Ever. Until Monday, then, I needed to make Minestrone. Maybe because I was getting sick, I needed a nice hot and healthy soup. Whatever the reason I was in for a real treat. I dug in to my new cookbook (thanks Heather!!!) Alice Waters’ “The Art of Simple Food” and discovered quite possibly the best soup I have EVER made.

Minestrone–BIG soup

1/4 cup of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced

1 clove garlic crushed and then chopped
2 tablespoons thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf

3 cups water
2 cups frozen green beans snapped to 1 inch lengths
1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes

3 cups cooked pasta, I used penne but any shape will do
1 can cannellini beans drained

leftover pasta water-you might need this to thin out the broth and this gives your soup a nice body

in a heavy duty dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat and add the first 4 ingredients
cook slowly over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, this is the way to make soffritto which is a nice way to give your soup a long simmered taste and depth

before cooking the soffritto
the soffritto after 15 minutes
when the vegetables are cooked and very aromatic add the next 4 ingredients and gently cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often
then add the next 3 ingredients, bring to a boil reduce heat to simmer and simmer 15 minutes
add the next 2 ingredients and simmer 10 minutes longer
reduce heat to low a stir in the beans and pasta to warm through
taste and add salt and pepper to your liking

I served it with a hunk of parmesean cheese, a box grater and warmed bread.
My kids deemed it the best soup EVER. Now that is something.


This is my entry for this weeks Souper Sunday over at Kahakai Kitchen Stop in and check out the awesome soup collection.