Saturday was one of those days that allowed me a lot of time in the kitchen. My husband is not a fan of soup, especially in the summer and even more so as a main dish. I LOVE soup. I could eat it every single day and not get bored. I think it makes a great main dish especially when there are so many ingredients. So I tried to find a soup I never made before and one that would keep my husband from whining like a little girl because I am making soup. Minestrone! I remembered that I had saved a recipe I found after watching an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. You can find the recipe here http://www.rosinesmonterey.com/News/index.cfm/ID/6.htm and my adaptation of the recipe here:
(Sorry about the quality of my photos - used my ancient iphone4)
Amy's Epic Fail Minestrone
4 quarts beef stock
3 pounds chuck roast, cut into bite size pieces
1 14 1/2 ounces can stewed tomatoes
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
5 (8 ounces each) cans tomato sauce (I used 2 regular, and 3 El Pato for spice)
4 bay leaves (I forgot to add the bay leaves!)
1 tablespoon sweet basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons sugar
11/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 onion, chopped
2 cups cabbage, chopped
3 cups bell peppers, chopped
2 cups carrots, diced
4 small potatoes, diced into cubes
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
12 oz + 24 oz can kidney beans
1/2 pound small elbow macaroni (This is what I feel is the epic fail of the recipe)
Add the beef stock, meat, tomatoes (break up the stewed tomatoes with fingers as you add them), tomato sauce, bay leaves, sweet basil, oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, sugar and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Cover and keep at a slow boil for 1 hour.
Before adding vegetables, skim the surface of the soup of fat. (They don't mention this in the original recipe but I feel it is a must! Who wants greasy soup? Ew!) Just use a spoon and plop it into a bowl.
Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Taste for flavor and adjust seasonings if necessary. I added some Cayenne Pepper and more salt. Add the pasta and beans and cook until tender.
Somewhere along the line it doesn't say "Serve Immediately!" because I would. If you let this soup simmer too long, which I did, the pasta becomes mush. It completely ruined the entire soup in my opinion. I don't know what I was thinking? Perhaps because I have had chicken noodle soup and the noodles don't ruin the soup? Perhaps because I have had Olive Garden's Minestrone and Pasta e Fagioli and the pasta isn't mush. Maybe I should have used shells? If anyone has advice please share. I ended up throwing away about 5 gallons of soup and an entire Saturday.
I am on the fence about attempting this soup again. I think I'd either forego the pasta all together or add it after warming up each batch so it is still al dente. I also didn't care for the chunks beef in it, but that's what my husband liked about the soup. Anywho, I thought I'd share my experience. Maybe someone can learn from my mishaps and have good success with the soup.
Finding therapy through writing, self-reflection and the pursuit of what defines me.