Jun 9, 2009

* Hearty Minestrone Soup *

2 quarts vegetable stock or broth
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, finely chopped
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded savoy cabbage
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup diced string beans
2 zucchini, diced
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup chopped chard
2 potatoes, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
2 leeks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 tbsp chopped kale or mustard greens
450 gms tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 can kidney beans
1/2 cup frozen lima beans, drained
1 cup macaroni
1/4 cup minced parsley,
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1/4 tsp hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 tsp each of sage, basil and oregano

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions,
garlic, cabbage, carrots, peas, beans and
zucchini. Saute for 5 minutes.
Add the spinach, chard, potatoes, celery, leeks,
pepper and kale. Saute for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and the chopped tomatoes. When the
mixture comes to a boil, add the parsley, fennel,
and herbs and macaroni.
Simmer till the macaroni is tender and the soup
is of the right consistency.
Add the tomato puree, kidney and lima beans, hot
sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes.
Serve in deep bowls garnished with grated Parmesan
or Romano cheese.

Optional: 1/2 cup of wild rice can be added to the
soup. Add the rice along with the soup stock and
tomatoes. Add the macaroni about halfway through
the cooking, and continue cooking as above.

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