pickycook.com
vegetable minestrone

i have decided it is about time that i get over my fear of beans. i have never been a fan of the texture - but i figured it is time to get over it. i knew i wanted to start with cannellini beans because i knew they were a creamier texture that most.

during my semi-regular sorting of my "recipes i want to make" folder i came across a recipe for minestrone from Cooks Illustrated  magazine. i figured i would give it a whirl.

reading through the recipe i immediately had problems with it. it said to just dump everything in the pot and let it simmer for about an hour. now i don't know about you - but i always saute the veggies in my soups before adding stock. so i knew some adjustments to the recipe were needed. in the end - it really didn't resemble the original recipe anymore - but i can guarantee you - it is 1000 times better.

vegetable minestrone
inspired by  Cook's Illustrated

4 small leeks (or two medium) - white and light green parts only - sliced thin and washed
4 medium carrots - chopped into bite size pieces
1 medium onion - small dice
4 stalks celery - chopped into bite size pieces
2 baking potatoes - chopped into bite size pieces
2 zucchinis - chopped into bite size pieces
3 cups baby spinach
6 cloves garlic - minced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
rind from parmesan - about 1 inch thick - and grate some parm for the top of the soup
1 15 oz can cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
1/2 cup orzo or other pasta
1/4 cup basil pesto
1 tbs all purpose seasoning - use your fav - mine is essence
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tbs sun-dried tomato paste
pinch red pepper flakes
olive oil

vegetables

baby spinach

potatoes

zucchini

parmesan

get out your biggest stock pot or dutch oven coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil. add leeks and onions and saute for 4 - 6 minutes or until translucent. add garlic and cook another minute or two.

add carrots, celery, potatoes, and zucchini and saute for 5 - 6 minutes.

saute vegetables

add salt, pepper, italian seasoning, all purpose seasoning, sun-dried tomato paste and red pepper flakes. stir to coat the veggies with spices. let cook for a couple minutes.

diced tomatoes

add tomatoes, parmesan rind, stock and water. stir and bring to a boil. once at a boil - reduce the heat to a simmer.

vegetable minestrone

add spinach and let simmer for about 20 minutes. check for seasoning and adjust as necessary - i always find it needs something - usually more salt or pepper.

vegetable minestrone

after 20 minutes - add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes, then add beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

when the pasta is cooked - veg are tender - and beans are heated through - turn off the heat and stir in pesto. (i added lemon juice to mine at the end - you can decide if you want it - i think it brightens up the flavor.)

serve with grated parmesan on top and a good crusty bread.

vegetable minestrone

vegetable minestrone


* alex thinks it was even better the next day. it keeps very well in the fridge.


 If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and/or subscribing to the feed to have future recipes delivered to your feed reader.



soup and saladcaesar salad with hard-boiled eggs
caesar salad with hard-boiled eggswe wanted a light dinner...this caesar salad fits the bill. Read More
grapefruit avocado and kumquat salad
grapefruit avocado and kumquat saladi am missing summer so for dinner i tried to recreate summer. i grabbed a couple texas ruby red grapefruit and limes. then i saw kumquats. i have had them once before and their color reminds me of the sun - so they were gonna be part of this. finally i got a couple avocados and mixed greens and went home to create my version of summer on a plate.
 Read More
mixed greens salad with strawberries and candied almonds
mixed greens salad with strawberries and candied almondsthis salad has everything - the sweet strawberries play very well with the acidic vinaigrette. the candied almonds provide the perfect crunch to make this salad one of my favorites. it is simple and quick and utterly wonderful. Read More
potato leek soup
potato leek soupwhen i bought the ingredients for this potato leek soup it was cold out. (typical minnesota) today was beautiful and warm so it was a little weird eating warm soup, but it was still delicious. Read More
roasted potato leek soup
roasted potato leek soupthe roasting of the potatoes and leeks adds a depth of flavor that is incredible. i added garlic to the recipe because potatoes and garlic go together in my world. when i first read the recipe the arugula puzzled me a bit but it adds a peppery flavor that is well matched with the soup. the creme fraiche adds a creamy quality to the soup that makes it like velvet. ina recommends serving it with crispy shallots and they are incredible. i did not believe that they would really take 40 minutes to make, but they really do. i have served it with and without them - both ways are wonderful. Read More
spicy vegetable barley soup
spicy vegetable barley soupthis soup is probably my most requested meal - it is near perfect. there are a couple secrets that make this soup so amazing...paprika, sundried tomato paste, and the lemon juice at the end. this is not your typical boring vegetable soup .... it is the best vegetable soup you will ever eat. i could eat it everyday! i have served it for dinner with a salad, or alone for lunch. Read More
vegetable minestrone
vegetable minestronei have decided it is about time that i get over my fear of beans. i have never been a fan of the texture - but i figured it is time to get over it. i knew i wanted to start with cannellini beans because i knew they were a creamier texture that most.

this minestrone was hearty and delicious.
warm tomato salad
warm tomato saladi made this salad with the vegetable tart. they were perfect together...it was like a spa meal. its light, refreshing and different with the warm tomatoes. Read More

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
all text, images and photos except where otherwise noted
© 2008 - 2011 picky cook
www.pickycook.com
contactsitemap

you may NOT use my images and photos without my permission. if you would like to use one of my photos - please contact me first.