Soup Du Jour: Minestrone!

Good morning and welcome back!

Can you believe that it is the last Friday in July?! It’s blowing my mind right now how fast 2016  has been going by.  There’s been so many wonderful events that have happened this year: my nephew being born, one of my best friend’s getting married, changing careers and going back to school for my passion; just to name a few.  All this and we’re only half way through the year!  Makes me super excited to see what else is in the works! I’m trying to live by the following words: be prepared and take action! (So far, so good!)

That being said, I know with it being in July the temperature has been crazy hot (high 90s the past few weeks in NYC), so you may think I’m crazy with this week’s recipe, however in class we started learning about stocks and I just HAD to make a soup: Minestrone!

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Below are the ingredients you will need for this savory soup!

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Ingredients:

1 Gallon of water (16  cups)

10-15 Mushrooms – sliced

1 Onion- diced

4 Carrots – chopped

4 Parsnips – chopped

2 Cups Tubetti pasta (You can use Elbow pasta)

1 Lb green beans – chopped

6-8 Celery sticks – chopped

1 – 14 oz Can of crushed tomatoes

1 – 28 oz Can of diced tomatoes

1 – 15 oz Can of red kidney beans

Parmesan cheese – shredded – to taste

Salt to taste

Oregano to taste

Garlic powder to taste

White pepper to taste

First, let’s start with our prep work.  One of the many gems I have learned from culinary school is that when cutting on a cutting board, put a sheet of damp paper towel under the cutting board and that will help reduce movement of the board.

Also, another little nugget I will impart upon you is that when you do your cleaning of your vegetables, put down a piece of paper towel to make for easy clean up.  All of the scraps go onto the paper towel and one-two-three you can throw the paper towel out.

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Now that we’ve set up our cutting board, let’s start by peeling the mushrooms, celery, carrots and parsnips.  I like using a peeler, but if you don’t have one, you can use a paring knife as well.

Just a Little Tip (JLT): The reason we peel all of these vegetables, is that all four have a fibrous skin which can be hard on the digestive tract. (Knowledge is power!)

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Once all these four veggies are peeled, chop them.  Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the green beans.

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For the parsnips, I like to cut off the root end and then cut them down the middle lengthwise since they can be tough to cut.  This helps so that when I chop them I can put them on the flat side, so I don’t accidently jab myself with the knife.  (Apparently bleeding into the food you are cooking is frowned upon. Who knew?!)

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Next, dice the onion.  (Don’t get too emotional when you do. I know I always want to cry.)

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Next, take a large soup pot, add the water and some salt and put all of your chopped veggies in it.  We want to start all of these items off cold and heat them up together.  Add the salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and garlic powder.  Put the heat on medium-to-high and let simmer for  1 1/2-2 hours.

Below are some before and after photos:

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At this point, add your green beans, kidney beans and both the crushed and diced tomatoes.

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Let cook for an additional 30 minutes and then add the pasta and let sit with the lid on and the heat off for 35-40 minutes.  The residual heat of the pot and the soup will cook the pasta through nicely.  (Are you salivating yet? I’m salivating.)

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Taste your soup and see if you need to add any additional amounts of the spices before serving.  Add some parmesan to the pot and stir.  (This is when it’s not frowned upon to stir the pot I promise, no one will yell at you.  Unless they are hungry and they want you out of the way to try some of your tasty ass soup!)

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Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese for your enjoying pleasure! (Unless your lactose intolerant.  Then I recommend not.)

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I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for following along with me on Stark Naked Cooking! I look forward to seeing you next Friday for our next recipe!

Buen provecho!

-V

P.S. You can also follow along with me on Instagram under @starknakedcooking.

Yum

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