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Franco’s Authentic Italian Minestrone

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Level: Easy

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Description

Franco, the fabulous chef at Tuscookany, a great cooking destination vacation in Italy, taught us how to make this delicious minestrone.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MINESTRONE:
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 whole Large Carrot
  • 1 whole Yukon Gold Potato
  • 2 whole Leeks Thinly Sliced, Both White And Light Green Parts
  • ½ whole Cabbage
  • 1 slice Pumpkin Or Other Similar Squash
  • 2 whole Small White Onions
  • 1 whole Zucchini
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • 4 stalks Swiss Chard
  • 2 cups Spinach Leaves
  • 1 gallon, 5 cups, 2 tablespoons, 6-¾ pinches Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Tomato Sauce (the Recipe That We Prepared, Ingredients List Below)
  • 15 ounces, weight Cannellini Beans, Rinsed And Drained
  • 1 can (14 Oz. Size) Artichoke Hearts
  • 1 piece Parmesan Rind
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Emeril's Italian Seasoning, More If Needed
  • FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:
  • 3 cans San Marzano Whole Tomatoes (28 Oz. Each)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped Small
  • 1 bunch Basil, Chopped

Preparation

First, make the tomato sauce:

1. Put tomatoes through a food mill to make a sauce. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and add garlic and onion. Saute until onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add chopped basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

This makes more than you need for the soup, but you can freeze the rest.

Next make the soup:

1. Dice all of the vegetables to about the same size–SMALL–and keep each vegetables separate. I was surprised that Franco had us cut them so small, I thought they would get mushy when you cooked them, but they didn’t.

2. Saute garlic and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. I use my 9 1/2 quart Le Creuset.

3. Add the slowest cooking vegetables first: carrots, potatoes, leeks, cabbage, onions, and pumpkin.

4. After 5 minutes add zucchini, celery, Swiss chard and spinach and stir. Continue heating for another minute or two.

5. Add the stock/broth and tomato sauce. I suppose you could cheat and use canned tomato sauce, but it’s really worth going to the trouble of making it from scratch. Franco says to cook this mixture until it reduces by 25% but mine only seems to reduce about 10%.

6. Add the beans, the artichoke hearts and the rind of the Parmesan. They say when you serve it the person who gets the rind in their bowl will have good luck!

7. Skim a little of the foam off the top.

8. Season to taste. I add salt, pepper, and play around with other seasonings. Sometimes it’s Emeril original seasoning, other times Italian seasonings. Just keep tasting until you get the flavor you like.

9. Let it simmer uncovered for a couple hours. It’s even better the next day, and best of all…it freezes well!

One Comment

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shari on 10.29.2011

Wow! This looks and sounds delicious! I’m definitely going to make this when the weather gets cold. I’ll let you know how much we love it, because I know we will!

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