Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Best Soup Ever - Main Dish Minestrone
Sometimes there's nothing like Mom's home cooking especially on the eve of Mother's Day. In an effort to save some money (surprise!) I've been cleaning out my pantry and freezer to use up older things I've bought. I did a major trip to a big grocery store in January 2008 and I KNOW that a good amount of the back of my pantry is from that trip. Spring cleaning is past due.
I reached into the depths of the deep freeze to grab some Italian sausage and plan to make my all-time favourite dinner. I've made this meal more times than anything else ever. Except perhaps scrambled eggs and PB&Bs.
My Mom's been making this main dish minestrone "Emily's Soup" and a delicious Pasta e Fagoli "Jen's soup" for as long as I can remember. They were so good, my sister and I had to claim them.
What I like about this is that it's hearty, hot, easily freezable, can be coated in Parmesan cheese and eaten with bread. Anytime I've made this for friends they've had seconds or more. It's just a crowd pleasing soup/stew.
I should warn you this is deceptively lengthy because you need to brown the sausage and bring the soup to boil twice before simmering for 10 and 30 minutes consecutively. I would estimate cooking time to be about an hour, not including prep. I also would like to suggest that you get everything in order before you start making it. I'm always a fan of mis en place but with this recipe I find myself in (more of) a frantic mess because you need to add so many things at once.
Here you go! Awesome soup for you!
Makes about 10-12 cups of soup. However big your serving is is up to you. This freezes super well, but make sure to leave room in the container to add some water before you freeze it. The only downside is that the pasta gets a little mushy, but it's a small price to pay for the best soup ever on demand.
Main Dish Minestrone
2T Olive Oil
1/2lb or 225g Italian sausage (I use 4 links which is ~ 1lb)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 green pepper (small), chopped
2T parsley (fresh), chopped
1/2t basil (dried)
1/2t thyme (dried)
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
4c chicken or vegetable stock
1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2c green cabbage, shredded coleslaw style
1/2c any small pasta (macaroni is best)
1. Remove sausage from casings so it's like ground meat.
2. In large heave saucepan heat oil and butter. Add sausage to pan and cook until brown.
3. Add onion, garlic celery, carrot, and green pepper. Cook until softened but not browned.
4. Stir in parsley, basil, thyme, bay leaf and s&p and incorporate well.
5. Stir in tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes
6. Add cabbage, beans and pasta, mix well. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
7. If soup is too thick add water to achieve desired consistency.
8. Serve with Parmesan and bread as desired.
This is still cooking as I write this and I'm so eager to eat it!!! I can't tell you how good it is, you MUST try it for yourself.
Do you have a favourite dish your mom made that you like to make too?