Saturday, October 29, 2016

Marcella Hazan's Minestrone Recipe

It seems to be getting difficult to find minestrone soup, let alone good minestrone soup, in Italian restaurants.  Another First World problem.

Minestrone is probably a little too "country," or at least insufficiently hip, for most menus.

This is the best recipe for minestrone I know--Marcella Hazan's.  MH was Julia Child's go-to person for Italian recipes, if that matters.  Of course, if you're just wanting to throw together a minestrone, and especially if you have a vegetable garden of some kind, you can improvise on the recipe.  For example, I've substituted Swiss chard for the cabbage, and sometimes I throw a few leaves of kale in there. I prefer Yukon gold potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

    • • 1 lb Zucchini
    • • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
    • • 3 Tbs Butter
    • • 1 cup Onion, sliced very thin
    • • 1 cup Carrots, diced
    • • 1 cup Celery, diced
    • • 2 cups Potatoes, peeled & diced
    • • 1/2 lb Green Beans
    • • 3 cups shredded Cabbage
    • • 1 1/2 cups canned Cannellini Beans, drained
    • • 4 cups Beef Broth
    • • 2 cups Water
    • • Parmesan Rind
    • • 2/3 cup canned Plum Tomatoes, with juice
    • • 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated

PREPARATION

    1. • 1 Soak the zucchini in a large bowl of water at least 20 minutes. Drain and dice fine. Soak the green beans in water, drain, trim and dice. • 2 In a large stockpot, mix the oil, butter and sliced onion. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook until onion wilts and becomes pale gold, but not darker. • 3 Add the diced carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the celery and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green beans and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. • 4 Add the broth, water, cheese rind, and tomatoes with juice. Salt very lightly. Stir thoroughly. Cover the pot, and lower the heat to simmer. • When the soup has cooked 2 1/2 hours, add the drained cannellini beans. Stir and cook another 30 minutes. Just before serving, remove the cheese rind. Swirl in the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Note: While one vegetable is cooking, peel and cut up another.
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