Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FFTG Minestrone Soup!

Time to start cooking again ....
Inspired by a soup night with my two most constant Friends
The Darkness of the month of November should be filled with the warmth of good friends and great Soup.

The start of any really good soup is your stock.  Without it soup is water and sautéd veggies.
The best way I know how is to buy a whole chicken. Give it a good rinse in the sink stick er in a pot with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Skimming the top to remove impurities.  Add a rough chopped onion maybe a celery stick, a bit of carrot, a bay leaf, parsley.  Let simmer on the stove like this for 2- 3 hours adding enough water to keep everything under water as it cooks....making a stalk sounds like a big step but it really isn't !
Once the chicken is in the pot simmering just put your stove timer on and forget about it.  THe result is chicken that falls off the bone (more than enough for your soup) and a stock that will make the soup of your dreams!
After 2 hours or so (depending on the size of your chicken) Strain liquid into a clean pot, let it cool, then refrigerate it. Remove the fat that congeals on the surface before using the stock.

Next Soup Ingredients:


1 Can Kidney beans 
1 Cup Chopped Onion 
4-5 cloves garlic chopped
1 Cup Celery, minced
1 Cup Carrot, chopped
1 Cup Zucchini, chopped
1 Cup Green Beans, Chopped
1 Cup brown mushrooms, chopped
2 Cups shredded chicken  
1 Can Whole Tomatoes 
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tsp Oregano and Basil
1/2 Cup fresh parsley 
3 Tbsp dry red wine 
3 1/2 Cups of your brilliant stock (or a carton of store bought if you must cheat)
parm cheese :)

In a heavy pot sauté veggies in olive oil.  After 5 - 10 mins add Stock, oregano, garlic, basil, beans, wine, chicken and tomatoes simmer soup until ready to serve.  I love to stick all of this into my crock pot in the am and leave it to cook for the day dinner is ready when your friends arrive :)
I have included a pic of the greatest noodles for minestrone but I actually prefer to add Brown Rice instead.
Serve soup hot sprinkled with parmesan & parsley 
Good red wine, a pretty baguette, a yummy Green Salad
And EVEN screaming kids playing tag in a small mobile home pare nicely with this great soup.