If it isn’t freezing cold, it’s grey and rainy. What happened to that 50 degree sunshine last Friday?! Punxsutawney Phil, why did you give me hope with thoughts of early spring?!?
Sigh. Well at any rate, more dreary days means more perfect excuses for soup! Especially hearty soup full of veggies like this Minestrone.
This recipes comes from my new cooking bible, Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything: The Basics.
If you are a new/aspiring cook, this needs to be on your bookshelf. Brimming with helpful photos, tips, techniques, and of course, amazing recipes, Mark Bittman provides the crash course on all things delicious. Breakfast, pasta & grains, seafood, the list goes on and on…
and of course, a whole chapter dedicated to soups and stews.
I have to admit, I am not the best eater when it comes to vegetables. No doubt about it they are delicious; but I can’t always drop by the grocery store in the middle of a hectic week. Not to mention a fridge for 4 college girls gets full rather quickly. But this recipe spoke to me, whispering of hearty kale, caramelized aromatics, and a fresh drizzle of olive oil that sent me straight to the store.
Now I’ll warn you: the amount of kale called for in the recipe appears to be rather large. It will seem as if you are adding way too much kale to the pot, and I don’t mean “oh wow that’s a lot of kale”, I mean
“OH MY GOD I’m just eating kale with a side of broth.”
But don’t worry: it cooks down to perfection and you’re left with a rich, hearty Minestrone, overflowing with vegetables and even some cannellini beans for a complete meal. 🙂
The best part? It makes so much soup. Dreary NJ weather eat your heart out: I’ve got soup to see me through your bleak February, your lion-roaring March, and perhaps even your rainy April.
I’d imagine this soup freezes perfectly; but to tell you the truth I loved it so much I had it for dinner 3 days straight. Seriously: it’s that good. Why has no one ever shared this idea of drizzling olive oil over soup before serving?! Pure genius.
The fresh Parmesan cheese didn’t hurt either. A necessary splurge IMHO – even if you are a college student. You can get a little plastic container of pre-shaved Parmesan cheese for about $3 at my grocery store, and it was worth every penny.
Well, what are you doing sitting there staring at the screen? Go make this soup!
Sorry to be Miss Bossy Boots, but you’ll thank me when you experience your first taste of this comforting Italian classic. 🙂 Feel like having a hearty rustic Italian bread to pair with this soup? Check out this No-Knead Bread! You’ll never go back to store-bought again. 🙂
Hearty Minestrone Soup
Recipe Source: Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything: The Basics
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium stalk of celery, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into small chunks
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 can cannellini beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Put the olive oil into a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, carrot, and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until vegetables soften and begin to brown (10-15 minutes).
- Add the potatoes and a little more salt/pepper and cook for another 5-10 minutes until vegetables are brown in spots.
- Add 6 cups water, stirring to scrap up any bits on the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily.
- Cook, stirring every now and then, until tomatoes break down, about 15 minutes.
- Add zucchini and kale and cook until vegetables are all very tender, another 10-15 minutes. Stir in beans and add salt/pepper to taste if needed.
- Serve topped with Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil
All Photos And Writing Copyright © 2013 Jessica Gonzalez | On Sugar Mountain