MFK Fisher’s Minestrone

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MFK Fisher's Minestrone

Adapted from How to Cook a Wolf – with help from The New Basics Cookbook.   For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and use vegetable broth – or even just water.   If you anticipate freezing part of it, hold the pasta back and freeze the soup without it. Then when you reheat the frozen soup, boil fresh pasta to add before serving

  • 3 strips of thick cut bacon, diced
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 stalk chopped celery
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 c tomatoes, diced – or 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 c beef broth (or use all chicken broth – a total of 6 c)
  • 3 c chicken broth

Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium heat, until the fat has rendered. Add butter, onion, celery, parsley and herbs, and stir for 5-10 minutes. Add the tomato and stir.  Add the broth. Add a little mace if you like it. 

Add the following, picking and choosing from what you’ve got on hand:

  • 1 large Yukon Gold or red potato, diced (peeling not necessary but okay)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small cabbage, finely shredded – about 2 c
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 4-6 stalks celery, diced
  • some spinach…say a big handful (optional)
  • some cut-up green beans,  (optional)
  • 1/2 c pasta (such as ditalini or elbow macaroni) – (note from Ann: some folks cook the pasta in the soup but I prefer to cook it separately and add it just before serving)
  • 1 c canned, drained, and rinsed kidney or cannellini beans
  • grated dry cheese – such as parmesan – for serving

Bring the whole thing slowly to a boil, and then let simmer until the vegetables are tender.  If using pasta, add it shortly before serving.

Serve as a soup or over thin toasted bread, but always with a bowl of grated dry cheese to sprinkle upon each serving.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.
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