Thursday, January 24, 2013


“This is the best thing that you have made in a while.”  I give you one guess who said that.  The love runneth over in the Mann house.  Even Elizabeth, in her own way, deemed the soup blog worthy.  She dipped her bread in the soup broth and ate it.  Baby steps - at least she tried it.

I found two recipes for minestrone (from Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof cookbook and Giada De Laurentiis) and I merged the two.  There is a lot of chopping required.  I chopped everything but the potatoes in advance.  Best part is, there is plenty for leftovers. 

Happy Birthday Todd!

1.      2 T olive oil 
2.      3-4 oz. pancetta, coarsely chopped
3.      1 yellow onion (@1 ½ c), chopped
4.      1 ½ c carrots, peeled, chopped into bite size pieces
5.      1 ½ c celery stalks (2-3 stalks), chopped into bite size pieces
6.      1 russet potato, peeled, cubed
7.      2-4 garlic cloves, minced
8.      1 t thyme
9.      26-28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
10.  6 cups (48 oz) chicken stock
11.  Kosher salt and pepper
12.  1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
13.  2 c cooked (1 c dry/uncooked) small pasta, like ditalini or tubetti
14.  8-10 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
15.  ½ c dry white wine
16.  Grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook on medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and potatoes. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock and thyme, 1 T salt and 1 ½ t pepper.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer uncovered 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through.  If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock.  Just before serving, add the spinach and stir gently.  Cook until the leaves are wilted.  Stir in the white wine.  Add more salt if necessary.  Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with parmesan.

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