CNYEats A Taste of Utica: Minestrone

by Joanne on December 27, 2009

On page 30 of our cookbook…DSC_0355 Eva Russo posted this wonderful recipe for Minestrone Soup. 

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Each region in Italy has its own variation of minestrone.  This is the version from Calabria, Italy where my parents were from.”  Eva Russo

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Ingredients:

   3 lb Bone-In Roast (or similar such as shin of beef, etc.)

   4 Quarts of Water

   4 medium carrots, peel and dice 
    4 sprigs parsley
    2 celery stalks, chopped
    1 large onion, diced
    1 bay leaf
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    1 28 oz can Italian Diced tomatoes
    1 can chick – peas (or red kidney beans) or half of each
    1 pkg frozen cut green beans
    1 pkg frozen peas
    2 cups chopped escarole (or cabbage)
    2 medium potatoes, diced (optional)
    1/4 lb perciatelli or spaghetti – broken into 1” pieces
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 tsp dried sweet basil or Italian seasoning
    1 can Swanson’s Beef Broth to add if necessary   

The adjustments I made were as follows:

1.  I used a ham bone that Ted’s daughter gave us from Christmas dinner.  It had a lot of meat on it and worked beautifully in this recipe

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2.  I used 1 TBS minced garlic instead of garlic powder

3.  I used 1 bunch of escarole, cleaned and chopped *I’m not sure if that resulted in 2 cups or not but it was plenty.

4.  I did not add potatoes since (in error) I dumped the whole box (1 lb) of Ditali pasta into the soup. – Whoops!

5. I used 4 fresh basil leaves instead of dried.

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Instructions:

Place the meat (bone-in roast), 1 TBS of salt (*don’t add salt if  you use ham like I did), and water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, cover half way.  Skim the surface as the foam collects (not much – if any off of a cooked meat bone).

Add the carrots, parsley, celery, onion, and potatoes (if using), garlic, and bay leaf.  Simmer, uncovered for 3 hours.  *I did let this simmer with the cooked meat bone for about 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the meat and bone with a large straining spoon.  Remove the vegetables as well and set aside.  Toss away the bay leaf. Strain the broth from stray pieces of meat and vegetables and reserve about 7 cups. 

In a large pot, combine the reserved broth (from the meat/bone), the tomatoes, chick peas (and/or beans), escarole, pasta, 2 tsp salt and pepper, basil.  Bring to a boil – stir to mix on occasion.  Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook at a simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes.

Remove any meat that is left on the bone. Discard the fat and cut into small pieces.   Add the meat and the strained vegetables (and the frozen peas and beans) to the simmering soup.  If needed, you might add the Swanson’s beef broth at this time *I didn’t need it even though I added WAY too much pasta.  Taste to see if you need to adjust seasonings. 

Note:  You can substitute small ditali pasta instead of broken perciatelli or spaghetti.

I served the soup to our meat eaters with home made Honey Wheat Bread. 

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All taste testers loved this soup.  They did need to add a bit more salt and also topped it off with a touch of Parmesan cheese. 

Give this soup a try. You will like it – thanks to Eva Russo.

WordPress Tags: “Taste of Utica”,“Honey Wheat Bread”,CNYEats,recipe,Soup,Calabria,Italian,Swanson,Beef,dinner,Ditali,Parmesan,Ingredients,beans,escarole,potatoes,perciatelli,spaghetti,pasta,vegetables

Joanne

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