Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I made this really good Minestrone on Sunday!  It has a ton of fresh veggies and made enough for several dinners and lunches for the week.   As we head into the colder seasons, I plan to make a "one-pot" dish every weekend that we can enjoy on cold weekday nights without having to slave in a cold kitchen after work!

This recipe takes time.  Leave about 5 hours for the entire process.

Ingredients (serves 10-12):

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 lb. bacon or pancetta, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3-4 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large potato, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1-1/2 cups green beans, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium green cabbage, shredded
6 cups of chopped kale, thick stems and ribs removed
35 oz. whole peeled Italian tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
5 cups beef stock
5 cups water
2 Tbs. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1-14.5 oz. can of white kidney beans, drained
1/2 lb. pasta

Here is what you do:

Pour 1/3 cup olive oil into a large stock pot or dutch oven

Heat olive oil over medium heat, add bacon, and cook until starting to crisp (about 5 minutes).

Add onion and cook until pale gold in color, about 10 minutes

Add carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally

Add chopped potatoes, zucchini, fennel, and green beans.  Cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occassionally.

Add kale and cabbage.  It will not seem like they can fit in the pot - just stir and let them cook down and it should work out (i ended up leaving out about a cup of each because space was tight!)

When the kale and cabbage are limp and cooked down, add the cut up tomatoes with their juices

Then add the stock and water (I added 5 cups of stock and 3 of water to start, because there wasn't room for it all.  As it cooked down some I added more water)

Add dried basil and oregano and salt and pepper to taste. 

Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.   15 minutes before serving add beans and pasta.  Turn up heat and cook until pasta is cooked.

Serve with warm crusty french bread.