Ran out of Parmesan… Mozzarella used as substitute. Definitely use Parmesan though.

The air is crisp, wait no, I take that back.  The air is moist with the mist of the Pacific Northwest.  Let’s not tell lies here.

The orange and yellow leaves are plastered to our driveway, the cars and even sometimes the windows with this rain.  R has chopped up fire wood and stacked it behind our house.  I am so excited to get both our fireplaces cleaned so that we can have an inaugural fire in our home.  Yup folks, it is definitely fall and we are moving full steam ahead into winter.

Until we get that fire going, we are keeping our bellies warm with bowls of minestrone soup.  R started to make beef stock from scratch last year, so we are super lucky to have homemade beef stock to use in this recipe I adapted from something I found on allrecipes.com called Jamie’s Minestrone.  Maybe I’ll have R guest blog about his beef stock someday…?!

Adapted from Jamie’s Minestrone from allrecipes.com

Yield: A lot of soup, you could eat it for days…

5 garlic cloves (minced)
2 medium onions (chopped)
2 cups celery (chopped)
3 carrots (chopped)
6 to 8 cups beef broth
5 cups canned tomato sauce (29oz + 15oz)
1/2 cup red wine, optional (I used Pinot Noir)
1 15oz can of Great Northern beans
1 14.5oz can of cut green beans
4 zucchinis (quartered and chopped)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon pepper (to start, then add to taste)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (to start, then add to taste)

Cooked shell pasta
Parmesan cheese for topping

1.  In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes.

2.  Add the onions and saute 4-5 minutes.

3.  Add celery and carrots, saute 1-2 minutes.

4.  Add broth and tomato sauce, bring to boil while frequently stirring.

*If using wine, add wine once boiling.

5.  Add beans, zucchini, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

6.  Reduce to lower temperature and simmer 30-40 minutes (the longer the better chance the flavors have of melding together).

To serve, place cooked pasta in the bottom of a bowl.  Ladle in the soup and top with Parmesan cheese

It sounds like a lot of prep work, but it isn’t.  I usually have a show going in the background on my laptop in the kitchen while doing prep work.  Lately, I have really enjoyed chopping and preparing ingredients for a recipe.  It is strangely therapeutic.  Also, I am getting better at not losing phalanges and not taking a million hours mincing 5 cloves of garlic!  I hope you make lots of soup like I did and will.  Next task, continue the hunt for the perfect French onion soup.


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