Minestrone soup is made with creativity, necessity, or what I call “the kitchen sink” soup. Don’t be timid, add leftover vegetables, a spoonful of pesto, and meat that will make it a really BIG soup. Minestrone soup is tolerant of whatever inspires you to add to it, it is a meal in itself. Serve with a crusty bread and green salad.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. stew beef or other you prefer, cut into 1” pieces
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery, diced
1 large sprig of rosemary
1 large spring of oregano
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16oz) can diced tomatoes
3 cups beef broth
1 (15oz) can cannelloni beans, drained, rinsed
1 cup of soup pasta, drained and set aside
1 cup broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 oz piece of parmesan cheese rind
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Mix the beef into the flour, coating all sides, shake off the excess before placing in the hot oil. Begin to add the beef pieces, making sure they are not crowded. Cook on all sides until brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat more oil in the same heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until the onion and celery until it is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano sprig, beef broth and beef. Simmer until the beef is tender, about 30-40 minutes.
When the meat is ready, add the broccoli, parmesan rind, pasta and beans. Simmer unto the vegetables are tender 10 minutes. Just before serving add the fresh basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the parmesan rind and herb sprigs, removing the leaves from the stem. Enjoy!