Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Minestrone (Adapted from Giada)

Not too rich, but loaded with healthy ingredients. You know you've got a good soup when you find yourself indulging in multiple bowls. This soup does it for me...I could eat the whole pot by myself! Between the hearty vegetables, fresh rosemary and parmesan rind, this soup is a 10 for me!

I've found when making soups from scratch, salt is KEY. I usually add salt at the end, and you'd be surprised how much you need to add to get it just right...just keep adding some, tasting along the way, until it's perfect. You'll know when it's right, it's like climbing to the top of a mountain and standing on the peak.

Winter Minestrone Soup (Adapted from Food Networks' Giada)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ bag spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 potato, peeled, cubed (I use any potatoes, skin on or off)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1 box (32 oz.) low-sodium beef broth
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the spinach leaves and potato; saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture.
4. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
5. Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)

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