My girl Jessica sent a request for a minestrone recipe, and this is one that I wanted to share. This recipe comes from the innovative and gifted Tyler Florence. When I saw him prepare this soup on his show Tyler's Ultimate, I knew it was a winner. It differs from the classic minestrone because contains no zucchini (cooked zucchini always reminds me of warm, soggy cucumbers! No can do!) It also contains italian sausage (as opposed to chicken meat) and savory field herbs like sage and thyme. I flapperfied it by using chicken sausage instead of pork sausage, and whole wheat pasta instead of regular. Let me know what you think!
This is a hearty, warming winter soup that tastes even better the next day!
2 quarts of chicken stock (8 cups)
1 head of garlic, halved
1/2 pound of whole wheat pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8-12 sage leaves, rolled and sliced thin
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 sprig of rosemary, chopped fine
3/5-1 lb sweet italian sausage (turkey or chicken sausage is nice!)
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped (by hand or food processor)
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 (28-oz.) can chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 28-ounce cans of canneloni beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
Frshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the stock and garlic, skins and all, in a big saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain out the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.
2. Bring pot of salted water to boil for pasta.
3. Chop celery, carrot and onion and keep on side of stove till ready to use.
3. In a large sauce/soup pan, heat up 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add sage, rosemary and thyme and stir for 3-4 minutes, infusing the oil with wonderful flavor. :) Add sausage and cook, breaking up pices with a wooden spoon till browned.
Add carrots, onion and celery to pan and cook 3-4 minutes till softened (not browned).
4. To same pan, add tomatoes, bay leaf, beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover to a peaceful simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
5. Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 6 minutes or so--should be underdone a bit.Drain and stir into the soup.
6. Add parsley, a little salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaf.
7. Ladel soup into bowls and top each bowl with some grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Serve with whole wheat garlic bread or some other nice bread to mop up juices. :)
8. Eat. Smile. :)