Classic Minestrone Soup

Monday night Minestrone Soup was always popular growing up. My Mom's Minestrone would cure anything. Given the pain my husband was in after having his wisdom teeth extracted, he needed something soft and nutritious.  Just how much pudding can one man eat anyway?  
After a weekend of eating, this is just what the doctor ordered.   Who does not have a few fresh vegetables left in the refrigerator drawer we just can't think what to do with?
  What a great excuse for this soup.  A few of each is all you need.  I always have homemade chicken stock in the freezer ready to go. The more flavorful stock, the better your end result.  You may use vegetable or beef stock too.  So easy to make.

4 medium carrots cleaned/trimmed and diced.
4 medium zucchini / diced
4 red potatoes/ diced
(everything diced the same size into small cubes)
2 tablespoons celery diced
1 clove of garlic/ cleaned and diced/ or 2 tablespoons of red onion diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
One large enough tall pot to hold all your ingredients
8 cups of chicken stock or any stock or you may use plain water.  Using stock will intensify the flavor.
(Optional tomato paste/ one teaspoon to add while garlic/onion is cooking in pan.  This will add color to your soup and great flavor).
1 pinch  salt/ one for the garlic/ one teaspoon for the vegetables once added to the pot.
Parsley for Garnish
Some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

In the bottom of your pan add your olive oil and heat on medium. Add your garlic or onion.  Saute until fragrant. (You can add your tomato paste option here and mix for a few seconds).  
 Add a pinch of salt.  Add your cut up/diced potatoes, diced carrots/ 2 tablespoons celery, diced zucchini and mix.  Let your mixture heat up and add one teaspoon salt and mix again.  After about 5 minutes of heating, add your heated stock until all your vegetables are completely covered.  Add some parsley and set your lid ajar.  Let boil, then simmer for one hour.  Your vegetables will soften and cook. 

 Remove your lid and check your vegetables.  They should be very soft but still in tact.  At this point remove your soup from the heat and let cool.  Wait 30 minutes, and puree in your blender, a little at a time.  Garnish with parsley and serve with some grated Parmigiano cheese if you like.  Even drizzle a little olive oil if you like.   We added a little cooked elbow macaroni to the hot soup as my Mom often does even today.    Just another way to serve this delicious Minestrone Soup that is so good for you too. If you are lucky, you might even have some leftover for the next days lunch. Enjoy!  Buon Appetito.

1/2 Pound of elbow macaroni cooked until right before al dente and set aside (the pasta will continue to cook in the hot puree at the end)

You can also Puree it some, saving some of the cooked vegetable pieces.  Add some red pepper or unsmoked paprika before serving with focaccia croutons or just pieces of bread.


It's getting to be that soup time of year - and it makes everything better - very nice recipe!

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