Tuesday, April 12, 2011

World's Best Minestrone

I love minestrone soup.  There used to be a restaurant in town called Sylvia's and they had the best minestrone EVER.  I would dream about that soup.  Seriously.  It was that good.  But then they closed.  And I mourned the loss.  Then, when I was pregnant with The Kid, a girlfriend of mine gave me a recipe for it.  I've tweaked it a bit over the years and now, it's right up there with Sylvia's.  And since they're no longer in business, I can claim mine as the world's best.

It makes a TON, so invite some extra mouths to the table.  Or freeze some.  Or eat it for two days like we do.  It's always better the next day anyway.

Here's the recipe:

1/4 C olive oil
12 C (3 quarts) vegetable or chicken broth
1 large onion, diced
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz can low-sodium diced tomatoes
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 1/2 C green beans, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped
2 16-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Ground pepper
1 medium zucchini, chopped
8-oz dried mini cheese tortellini or ravioli 
Grated parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.

Here's my super secret, never wash a garlic press ever ever ever again, tip of the day:   Microplane.  Once you have one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.  Use it for grating garlic and ginger.  Use it to zest citrus fruit.  Use it to grate hard cheeses.  I'm telling you, this tool is my best friend in the kitchen.  LOVE it.  There's all kinds out there.  I have two - one has bigger holes than the other. 

Here's the one I use the most:

2.  Stir in tomatoes and their juices and cook five minutes.  Add carrots, celery, potato, green beans, garbanzo beans, broth, bay leaves and seasonings.

3.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Add zucchini and pasta and cook until noodles are done, about 10 minutes more.

Serve with grated parmesan and fresh basil.  And a really good loaf of crusty bread, of course.

Here it is in my bowl:


  1. Oh my gosh!

    Okay, I am a huge Jamie Oliver fan. On his show Jamie at Home, he has this amazing grater. It looks a little bit different, and have been looking everywhere for it.

    Now I've found it! Ha ha ha. :) Thank ya much! :)

  2. I'm tellin' ya Lauren, best kitchen gadget EVER! I love Jamie Oliver too!


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