Friday, January 23, 2009

Hunter's Minestrone




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!

INGREDIENTS:

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
Salt (optional)
Grated parmigiano-reggiano

DIRECTIONS:

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. :)

10 comments:

Victoria said...

I made this soup today, and although it took about two hours (start to finish) it was so delicious! I think the parmesean cheese makes it!
I make lunch for five people at work for Monday (we call it the "lunch bunch") and it will be tomorrow's special! Not only did I have enough for all five people, but we had dinner for two with crusty bread tonight and there is enough left for another night this week. This is very budget friendly and great for cold weather!

flappergirl said...

Hi Vicki! I'm glad you enjoy this soup as much as I do! Was it the veggie chopping that took you a long time? The average cooking time for this soup is about 40 minutes. If you have a food processor, you can throw them in there and do a rough chop in seconds flat. Let me know if there are any other shortcuts I can offer you! :)

Jessica Martiele said...

Hands-down the best minestrone I've ever had. YOU ROCK!!!

Vicki said...

It was definitely the chopping of the veggies that took me so long. I am no Rachael Ray! I DO have a food processor, so I'll try that next time.
Everyone at work said it was AMAZING and it was! Plus, it was even better leftover.

flappergirl said...

Wow, Jessica, I'm thrilled you enjoyed the soup! I love it too. In fact, I think I'm due to make another pot soon!

Vicki--yeah put the processor on a quick, rough chop. The larger hunks of veggies will give it a beautiful, rustic look and will be ready for the soup in seconds.

Natashya said...

Sounds tasty! How do the whole wheat noodles hold up in the soup by the next day? I haven't tried them in a soup before.

flappergirl said...

Hi Natashya!
The whole wheat noodles held up the same as regular semolina pasta.

I usually make it a habit to cook my pasta separately from the soup and add it in at the end so it won't go soggy the next day. This works really well in my lentil soup too.

Thanks for checking in!

cantbelieveweate said...

Oh yum. I'm going to have to give this a go...it looks too darn good! Very nicely done!

Jenny said...

Looks good!

flappergirl said...

Hi can'tbelieve and Jenny! This is definitely my favorite minestrone recipe. I think you guys will love it. Tyler hit a homerun on this recipe-- once again! :)

 
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