Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Minestrone a la McDonald.

(measures are US not Metric)
2 c onion diced
2 c carrot diced
1.5 c celery diced
2 c cabbage diced
2 c zucchini diced
1 bulb garlic, chopped. Yes, bulb, not clove.
2 c kale leaves, chopped.*
3 * 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
3 * 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained
1 * 10 oz can tomato paste
big sploosh of red wine
8 c chicken broth(or 12 cups broth and no water if use low sodium broth)
4 c water
1 level tsp sugar
s & p to taste
slightly more basil than oregano. Sorry can't be more specific with herb amounts than that, it depends on your own tastes/smells. Can always add a little more in towards the end of cooking to brighten it up a little.

In a BIG pot, sauté onion, celery and carrot until onion is translucent.
Add cabbage sauté for a few minutes. Repeat with zucchini. And then garlic.
Add tomato paste and stir to combine, cook for a minute or two. Deglaze with the red wine.
Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil.
Simmer at least 40 mins, stirring regularly.
Taste, adjust seasonings and water consistency. (Sometimes it's too thick so I need to add water, sometimes too thin so I need to cook a little longer.)

Now, this can be eaten without pasta in it. The Italian place I worked for served it that way. If you prefer pasta in your minestrone that's fine. Just boil some up before serving. Don't want to cook it IN the soup else it goes all soggy and nasty before breaking down completely. Although if making a small enough pot that it will all be eaten and doesn't need to be stored afterwards, you can cook the pasta in the soup for the last fifteen minutes or so.

*(Usually use curly endive, but didn't have any. Kale leaves worked just fine though.)

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