Friday, September 28, 2012

Loaded Minestrone

i love minestrone soup. growing up my family would go to the same italian restaurant, owned by an old friend of the family, almost every friday for pizza and pitchers of budweiser. well, the kids drank coke. sometimes we got to use the bartender gun thing to squirt our own coke into our own glasses. yeah, be jealous. 

anyways, every so often i'd stray from the pizza tradition and get a lasagna. the lasagna would come in it's own personal little dish that it was baked in. the sauce had a really great slow cooked beefy texture, and i especially liked this particular lasagna because it came without ricotta. i've never been a fan of ricotta.

while the lasagna was always delicious, the best part about ordering it was that before it came to your table you'd get a warm, garlicy, buttery roll, the best green salad with the most perfectly tart italian dressing you've ever tasted and some bomb minestrone soup.

i don't quite know what kind of rolls our friend served. i can't figure out how to make a dressing so delicious and sour and peppery, but i make a goddamn excellent knock off of that ridiculously good minestrone.

i'll go ahead and call it "loaded minestrone" to denote that there's a little more going on in there than in the minestrone you might be used to. but it's super good, super easy and super quick to make. i can't stress the ease and tastiness of this enough. the only dishes you dirty are your knife, your cutting board and a pot, for crying out loud.i serve it at our christmas parties and people flip their freaking lids over it. i can't wait for it to cool down so i can start making this again. i think van will love it too.

wish i had a more delicious looking photo...

loaded minestrone soup
serves many. probably 8 big servings.

2 containers of chicken stock (or veggie. whatever)
1 large can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 can of kidney or lima beans ( i like lima)
1 zucchini diced
1-2 carrots diced
1 potato diced
handful of small pasta (little shells or little elbows)
1 small onion, diced up small
several cloves of garlic
olive oil
3 heaping tablespoons of dried oregano/italian herbs

heat some olive oil in your nice big soup pot. add your onions. after a couple minutes when onions are looking a little soft, add your garlic, carrots, potato and zucchini. sprinkle all contents of your pot with salt, pepper and italian seasoning. stir this mixture all up for a few minutes.

add your cans of stuff. don't throw out the juice. dump it all in there!

bring to a boil. when your carrots and potatoes seem almost soft enough to eat, toss in a handful of your small pasta.

once pasta is cooked and veggies are soft it's dinnertime. i like to serve mine with some good quality oven toasted bread and grated parm.