Saturday, January 01, 2005

Classic Minestrone Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, with leaves, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes, with juice
1 box of frozen spinach
1 large can Italian white beans or Great Northern

5 cups beef or vegetable stock
1/2 cup finely
chopped parsley
1 cup extra-finely sliced, then roughly chopped cabbage
2 zucchini, unpeeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup ditalini (little tiny macaroni)

Garnish: Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Sautee the onion and celery in the oil until wilted, toss in garlic and stir for a minute, then add cut-up tomatoes and cook down for about 10 minutes to concentrate flavors. Stir in beef stock, reserved tomato juice, and beans and bring to a boil. Add half the parsley, lower heat, and cook for about 30 minutes.

Add cabbage, zucchini, spinach, and ditalini and cook at a gentle boil until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

When ready to serve, stir in the rest of the parsley, maybe sprinkle in some more minced garlic. Season to taste and grate in some Parmesan or Romano.

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