Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mel's Minestone Experiment

  • 3 cups dried romano beans (whatever you can find/like)
  • 1 cup bacon fat
  • 10 cups chicken or beef broth 
  • 3 onions, diced 
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 head savoy or curly cabbage, diced 
  • 2 zucchini, diced (optional) 
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped (can add up to 1 cup, if you desire) 
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cans Italian style peeled plum tomatoes
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

  1. Soak beans overnight in cold water, covered. Drain beans, rinsing until water is clear. Place them in a stockpot.  Add 10 cups of broth. Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook at a gentle boil for 1 hour.
  2.  At the same time, heat oil in (separate) large stockpot.  Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and parsley.  Saute gently for 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Add remaining vegetables.
  3.  Using your hand, crush the tomatoes as you add them. Add remaining juices from the cans.
  4. Add 9 cups of broth. Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook at a gentle boil for 45 minutes.
  5. At the 1 hour mark for the beans, remove from heat. Drain off water.  Transfer half of the beans to a food processor or blender and blend into a paste. If you don't have a blender/food processor, mash half the beans in another pot.
  6. Add mashed beans, remaining whole beans, and bacon fat to the vegetables.  Continue to cook at a gentle boil for another hour, or until both the beans and cabbage are soft.

Makes: A shit ton of soup. (I can't remember how much, but it was a LOT)

  • As always broth numbers are approximate.   Always add enough that soup is very...soupy at the beginning. If you have too much liquid in your soup at the tend, you can either take the lid off and let it cook down, or drain out some of the liquid.
  • I know 1 cup of bacon fat sounds pretty gross, but trust me when I tell you this soup NEEDS some kind meaty/smokey of flavour.  You could also fry a package of bacon (diced), and add the bacon and fat together. 

Chris did not like this one, though I did.  It took him three days of having it for lunch for him to realise this though. lol. That's because Chris does not like any soups with tomato bases.  Nothing against the soup, he's just not a totmato-in-soup fan.

No comments: