I enjoy Italian soups, but my mother always prefers a more rustic version with more vegetables, and less spices and flavors. So, I’ve decided to make my “Non-Italian” Minestrone Soup for us tonight! ~ Kimberly Edwards 🙂
Type: Main – Soup
Serve With: Fresh, Crusty Italian or French Bread
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hrs.
Yield: 1 large stock pot full
4-5 pieces Bacon – Sliced or chunked
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cups Celery – Sliced
2 medium Onions – Well chopped
3 Green Onions – Chopped
1 cup Red Wine
4 large Carrots – Sliced
3 Parsnips – Sliced
3 Beets – Chopped
3 cloves Garlic – Whole
12 Mushrooms – I prefer Crimini
1 large Zucchini – Or green tomatoes – Chopped in quarters
1 extra small Pumpkin – 1/2″ dice
4 medium Potatoes – 1/2″ dice
3 cups ripped Collard Greens – Or spinach
4 cups cooked Beans – I use 4-5 different kinds of beans
1 large can Tomatoes – Or chop 5-6 fresh tomatoes
Chicken or Vegetable Stock, or Water – Fill to 3/4 stock pot full
* 1 rind Parmesan Cheese – * Optional
1/4 cup fresh chopped Parsley
1 sprig fresh Rosemary
2 Bay Leaves
2 whole Cloves
1/4 tsp Crushed Chili Pepper Flakes
2 cups small Pasta – Whatever shape you like
Sea Salt – To taste
1. Pour olive oil into stock pot on medium heat and slowly cook the bacon until browned.
2. Add celery, green onions, onions, bay leaves, peppercorns and chili flakes and soften them.
* Tip: If there is a lot of browned bits on the bottom of the pot, slightly turn down heat and add red wine to deglaze.
3. Add carrots, parsnips, beets, pumpkin, garlic, mushrooms, zucchini and continue on heat.
4. Add stock or water to 3/4 filling stock pot.
5. Add greens or spinach, half of the parsley and rosemary.
6. Squeeze tomatoes through hands to crush, if using canned tomatoes and add liquid as well. If using fresh tomatoes, chop and add now.
7. After about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, check to see if vegetables are very soft, which they should be.
* Tip: Mush garlic cloves, and a few of the vegetable chunks in soup to get more flavor and thicken soup.
8. Add diced potatoes, pasta and cooked beans, and continue to simmer on medium or medium low until potatoes are fork tender – about 20 minutes.
9. Adjust seasoning of salt and pepper to taste.
10. Serve with fresh, crusty Italian or French bread and Enjoy!
A complete triumph! Mom loved it! In fact, she said it’s the best Minestrone she’s ever had! Mission Accomplished!
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