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Monday, June 21, 2010

Italian Minestrone Soup

The ingredient list may seem long, but once you're savoring this soup on a cold day, it'll seem well worth it! The addition of spaghetti sauce provides rich flavor without a long simmering time.

1/3 cup Olive Oil
5 Bacon Strips, finely diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 cup Onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup Celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
1 cup Carrots, sliced
1 can (6 oz) Tomato Paste
1 TB Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1 can (28 oz) Diced Tomatoes
1 cup Parmesan/Romano Spaghetti Sauce (or another flavor)
1 can Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Frozen Green Beans
1 (15 oz) can Beef Broth
6 cups Water
2 cups Ditalini Pasta, uncooked
Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
Fresh Parmesan Cheese for Garnish

Heat oil in 5-quart saucepan. Add bacon, cook 3 minutes. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add all remaining ingredients except pasta. Stir until ingredients are blended. Bring to boil and reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add uncooked pasta and simmer for 10 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve in large soup bowls with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.

Makes 8-10 servings.

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