Look at this, will you!
I made that last weekend, and you’d better believe it tastes as good as it looks.
Minestrone is a funny thing. I haven’t made it all that much, mainly because in the past I’ve had trouble getting it to really taste good. It’s always just “fine.” I’ve used this recipie before, but not with these results. So I was surprised when this turned out to be so tasty. It must be the particular combination of ingredients.
Thus, I am going to immortalize this exact recipie on the web for all eternity, just because I can.
This is basically your average recipie for minestrone, I know I drew from two almost-identical recipies when I wrote this down.
Olive oil, pretty old because it was the second of two huge bottles bought at the same time and it’s almost the bottom of that bottle. Was it before, during, or after Tom that you got those? You’re not sure, but you were living in Somerville at the time because you remember buying them at Porter Square.
1 med. yellow onion, chopped
2 med. carrots, peeled & chopped
1 med. potato, cubed
1 zuchinni, chopped
2 Herb-Ox chicken bouillon cubes
4 Herb-Ox veggie bouillon cubes
6 cups Somerville tap water filtered through a Brita
a good amount of fresh green beans, chopped
1/2 C small shells
1 can Shaw’s brand canellini beans, drained & rinsed
Garlic that’s been in the fridge for a while, and from which you had to remove the shoots. Use extra because some has been lost due to said shoots.
2 14.5 oz cans of Redpack diced tomatoes, Basil, Garlic & Oregano blend because those are Italian spices, and Minestrone is Italian.
A good amount of dried basil, garlic, thyme.
Less dried rosemary.
Two really, really old dried bay leaves that are a weird shade of yellowish/greenish.
Oh yeah, two stalks of celery. Or maybe three, but I think two. Chopped.
Be in the midst of preparing a bastardized chicken tikka masala at the same time. There is no pre-chopping of ingredients. Keep the heat low so things don’t burn while you take your time.
Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of your dutch oven. Let it sit there, cold, while you chop an onion for the chicken tikka masala. Turn on the heat. Chop the onion and throw it in the pot. Get the garlic out, de-shoot it, squish it through the garlic thingie and into the chicken. Get some more garlic and repeat with the soup pot. Stir the onions around with your new red spatula/flipper thingie. In no particular order (potato, squash, celery, carrots, green beans — you need to be sure the potato cooks and the green beans and carrots aren’t mushy), and in no particular hurry (truly, there’s no rush, the vegetables will be fine because the heat is low. Are they even cooking? It’s debateable but they probably are.), chop the other veggies. Chop them one at a time, adding them to the dutch oven one at a time. Stir things every time you add something. (Don’t forget to check the chicken. And the rice for the chicken.)
When you add the green beans, put a few in the chicken first. Chop most of the rest and put them in the dutch oven. Chop some more, intending to put them in the soup, but forget and put them in the chicken. Take some of the beans off the top of the chicken and throw them in the soup pot. Oh, and this is probably a good time to rinse and drain the beans, and add them. Let this cook for a minute, but decide that the five minutes stipulated in the recipie isn’t really necessary, since these vegetables have been cooking for quite some time now, you really don’t know how long. Add the tomatoes, unwrap and toss in the bouillon cubes, and cheer when you are able to measure out exactly six cups of water from the full Brita pitcher. Put the cover on and turn the heat up a little. Remember about the bay leaves, go get them and put two in. Immediately look at the others and think “hm, these should be thrown out. They are old and in fact they look it.” Throw them out. Think that perhaps if you just dismissed the rest of them as inferior, the ones in the soup are probably inferior as well. Fish them out, which is easy since you hadn’t gotten to the whole stirring them in thing yet. Think that maybe you should have taken the random bay leaves your aunt found in her cabinet the other weekend and offered to you, but you said no because you had some and don’t use them often. Clearly.
Wash some dishes and/or do something to the chicken thing while the soup comes to a boil. Peek at the soup, turn the heat down eventually. It occurs to you that perhaps some dried herbs should be added. Forget whether or not dried herbs are supposed to go into dishes early or late. Decide that the answer is early, but it doesn’t matter because soup is wet. Shake out unmeasured amounts of herbs into a discarded measuring cup. Wonder if it’s too much or not enough. Stir into the soup. Let it cook for some amount of time that might be 20 minutes but might be longer or shorter. Almost forget to add the shells, then remember and add them. Let it cook for a while, until the kitchen is cleaned up and you’re tired of babysitting the soup. Take a little taste. Yum! Notice that the dutch oven is completely full.
Turn off the stove, leave the soup in the pot, on the burner, and wander off to do something else, probably involving e-mail and your blog. Wander back when you realize how hungry you are later. Microwave some soup. Make a grilled cheese (Land O Lakes White American, three slices, on Shaw’s wheat, with that yogurt/margarine stuff on the fried sides of the bread. Burn one side, as usual. Enjoy using your new flipper thingie. Place on plate with burned side down so you forget it’s burned when you eat it.) Try the soup. Fantastic! Examine it up close, decide it’s pretty and that you have a digital camera for a reason. Look at that soup! You can even see the little bits of dried herbs floating around! You are amazing! And so is your soup!