Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Jami's Minestrone

This is a simple minestrone that Jami makes. For the recipe she looked at several different ones online, and in books, figured out the basics, and went from there. She used to be a slave to recipes, but there are only two cookbooks in the house, one of them an exceptionally bad vegetarian cookbook. Thanks to those miserably bland recipes, she's taken to modifying them, and this minestrone is one of the results of that learning process.

  • 3/4 cup dry kidney beans
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 cup peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 cup pasta shells
  • 3/4 cup green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • you know, knives , pots, stuff like that
1. Begin soaking the beans in the morning, or the night before you plan on making the soup.
2. In a quart or so of water, boil the beans until soft, then strain and rinse.
3. Sauté onions and garlic in the olive oil.
4. Add the dry spices.
5. Add potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes and stir to coat with oil. These should be cut fairly small so that they cook quickly.
6. Add the vegetable stock and beans, and bring to a boil.
7. Salt and pepper as needed.
8. Add pasta and reduce heat to a simmer.
9. When pasta is cooked al dente, add the green beans. When the beans turn bright green, you're done.

Options: You might play around with different kinds of beans. Substituting 1/4 cup of red beans for garbanzos would be nice, they're just way expensive here, even dry. Minestrone, like much Italian food, is a great way use leftovers. You should use whatever ingredients are seasonally available. Zucchini and yellow squash would be great. Really, if you've been chopping vegetables for something else, and have a can of beans on hand, throw some in a pot with a quart of stock, and there you go. Don't be afraid to add meat (cooking it with the onions) if you like. Jami never cooks with meat because she hates to touch it when it's raw.

Minestrone means "big soup."

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