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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Minestrone Soup

I really love cooking at Chris' kitchen!! He's got the best cookbooks, perfect utensils, pots/pans, and the magic bullet. So today we made the best use of all vegetables in the best Minestrone Soup I've ever had. We followed this recipe closely and the results were absolutely perfect. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera to show off how awesome it really was. I did pack some left overs home so I'll take a picture tomorrow.

We started cooking a Chicken Pot Pie and Minestrone Soup at 7 and finally ate dinner after 10 :) It was so worth it.

Step 1: I finally made "Classic Pesto" with a recipe instead of my previous experiments of throwing in whatever I could find.

1/2 cup pine nuts
3 medium cloves garlic
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoon packed fresh parsley leaves (optional)
7 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

1. Toast nuts in small heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until just golden and fragrant. 4-5 min.
2. Add garlic to the empty pan. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and the color of the cloves slightly about 7 min. Transfer garlic to plate; cool, peel, chop.
3. Place basil and parsley in heavy-duty gallon-sized zipper-lock plastic bag. Pound the bag with the flat side of a meat pounder or a rolling pin until the leaves are bruised.
4. Place nuts, garlic, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt in the Magic Bullet (blender) until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, stir in the grated parmesan cheese.

Step 2: Chop Veggies for the soup
(3/4 cup) leeks, white and light green parts sliced thin crosswise
(3/4 cup) chopped carrots and parsley root
(3/4 cup) chopped onions
(3/4 cup) chopped stalks celery
(1 1/4 cup)-4 turnips diced (since we didn't have a medium baking potato
(1 1/4 cups) chopped zucchini

Step 3: Add the above vegetables into a stockpot and bring to a boil with
3 cups spinach leaves
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained and chopped
8 cups water
1 parmesan cheese rind about 5 by 2 inches** (secret ingredient - they recommend parmigiano-reggiano :)

Step 4: Stir and leave the cover open. Put the heat to medium and leave for an hour.

Step 5: Add some pasta in for about 8 min.

Step 6: Add in 1/4 cup of Classic Pesto and 1 can of cannellini beans.

Step 7: Eat right away.

This has got to be my favourite vegetable soup reciple of all time. What a great ending to a great day of eating and exercising. Not that anybody follows any recipes I ever post but if you do, try this one if you happen to have all these vegetables on hand!

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