30 January, 2012

Henry Hill's Minestrone | The Wise Guy Cookbook

Minestrone is a great way to use left-over vegetables.

Henry Hill's Minestrone ingredients
Makes 6 servings
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb bacon or pancetta, diced
1 large or 2 medium brown or white onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 leek, white and pale green parts, diced
4 canned, peeled plum tomatoes and 1/4 cup of  the juice
2 (14-oz) cans beef broth
2 cups water (add more, as needed)
1/2-lb green or Savoy cabbage
Large handful green beans
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
2 small zucchinis, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil, marjoram or thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (2-inch) piece of Parmesan cheese rind, wax removed 
Salt and pepper
1 cup pasta, cooked according to package directions

Optional vegetables
Green peas
Red onion
Swiss chard
"Whatever's about to spoil in the fridge"

For serving
Parmesan cheese
Warm crusty bread

Render ham
Heat oil in a large pot. Add bacon or pancetta and cook over Medium heat, stirring, until browned but not crisp, about five to eight (5 to 8) minutes. 

Add chopped onions and cook about five (5) minutes, however, do not brown. 

Add carrots, celery and leek and cook until all vegetables are soft, about five (5) minutes more. 

Bring to a boil, then simmer
Crush or chop the tomatoes. Add tomatoes and the juice, broth and water to the pot; stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. 

Snap off ends of green beans; break into approximately 2-inch pieces and add to pot. Add remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper, keeping in mind the soup will get saltier as it cooks. 

Bring to a boil again and cover. Reduce to a simmer and cook for one (1) hour, stirring occasionally but thoroughly, to avoid scorching..

Taste after one (1) hour and adjust seasoning. Continue cooking for one (1) hour more, adding more water if soup gets too thick. Stir thoroughly to avoid scorching.

Finish and serve
When desired consistency is achieved, remove bay leaf (and Parmesan rind, if using). Season again to taste with salt and pepper, as may be needed,

Stir in the cooked pasta and warm through.

Serve warm with optional cheese and warm crusty bread.


Adapts  Henry Hill and Priscilla Davis, The Wise Guy Cookbook: My Favorite Recipes From My Life as a Goodfella to Cooking on the Run (New York: New American Library, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc, 2002), 107 - 109.

You might like:
Easy Minestrone
Coral Tree Café's Vegetable Soup

Page Last Updated 21 April 2015

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