Way back in 1986 the Campbell’s company named January as National Soup Month. Not surprisingly they were angling to sell more cans of soup during this cold month. But you can cross them up by making your own at home. You can find easier soups but you will never find a tastier, more January appropriate soup, than my go-to Minestrone soup recipe below.
- 2 medium red onion, 1/2″ dice
- 1 medium carrot, 1/2″ dice
- 1 medium potato, 1/2″ dice
- 2 medium celery stalk, 1/2″ dice
- 1/4 pound green beans, 1/2″ dice
- 2 medium zucchini, 1/2″ dice
- 2 large swiss chard leaves, finely chopped
- 2 rinds Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, (optional)
- 1 14 oz. can whole tomatoes, with liquid
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 3 cans beef broth
- 1 pound sweet italian sausage, casing removed
- 6 large sage leaves
- 1/4 medium Savoy cabbage, 1/2″ dice
- 2 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 large stalks (with leaves) Swiss chard, 1/2″ dice
- 1/2 cup small pasta (i.e. ditilini, ancini de pepe
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, (optional)
Set aside about 1/3 of the onions. In a 6-quart pot, combine the rest of the onions and all ingredients up to and including the tomatoes. Cover by the beef broth. Add enough water to cover by an inch, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes.
- While pot is simmering, film the bottom of a skillet lightly with olive oil. Set over medium-high heat. Add the reserved onions, sausage, sage leaves and a handful of the cabbage. Saute to a rich golden brown. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Cook another 5 minutes.
- Combine the saute into the pot along with the remaining cabbage, beans and Swiss chard. Deglaze the saute pan with water and add juice to the pot. Cover all ingredients by an inch with water, if needed. Simmer slowly for at least another hour. Add more water if needed. Taste for salt.
- Stir in the pasta and simmer another 15 minutes or so, until pasta is tender. Remove and discard parmesan rinds. Serve hot or warm with grated cheese sprinkled over the top.