Monday, November 1, 2010

Vegetable Minestrone Soup (a.k.a. the BEST SOUP EVER)

I now present to you, the recipe for the BEST SOUP EVER.

The original version of this recipe came from a cookbook at my mother-in-law's house. It was great, but didn't suit the disparate likes and dislikes of my little family, so I made some modifications. You could substitute all sorts of vegetables into this soup, like squash or potatoes or cauliflower - whatever floats your boat. Or you could add beans (which I took out because the Husband doesn't like them).

I can't tell you how much I love this soup, so enjoy.

Vegetable Minestrone with Pasta

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion or 1/2 of a sweet onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 large can (49.5 oz) chicken stock
1 can (15 oz) whole tomatoes with their juice, food processed to little bits
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
½ tbsp dried basil
½ tbsp dried oregano
½ tbsp sugar
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup dried pasta (Mafalda is my favorite - they look like mini lasagnas)
a handful of alphabet pasta or stars
1 cup frozen tortellini or ravioli
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley
2/3 (3 oz/90g) cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, 2-3 minutes.

Add the stock, processed tomatoes (you can process them OR just use the spoon to break them up - personally, I think the spoon does a lousy job and I don't like the texture of tomatoes so....into the food processor they go), carrot, zucchini, basil, oregano, parsley, sugar and bay leaf.

Cover partially and simmer until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 20 minutes.

Add the dried pasta and frozen tortellini or ravioli and cook, uncovered, until al dente, 8-10 minutes more.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with Parmesan.

(p.s. I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but it sure is yummy)

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