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Franco, the fabulous chef at Tuscookany, a great cooking destination vacation in Italy, taught us how to make this delicious minestrone.
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!
These chicken noodle bowls are loosely based on Pho, a dish my husband and I have been fortunate enough to enjoy at our friends’ house. They do a traditional Vietnamese recipe with beef. The dish has a flavorful beef broth, topped with fresh aromatics and vegetables.
I decided to make this version for my husband who has been sick all weekend with a terrible cold. The ginger root provides a homeopathic element to the broth.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!