Baked Minestrone

Baked Minestrone
by Linda Macdonald, posted on Carrie Minn's blog, "La Pomme de Portland"

I make this soup every fall. Sometimes a couple times during fall. So easy. So delicious. And, my favorite part are those simple black olives. I am not sure what the "baked" in the title of the recipe is meant to imply, but I am not one to argue with the creator of such a scrumptious dish. Now, Linda's instructions have you precooking your pasta before putting it in. I'm guessing that is to help prevent it from getting too soggy. I am always too lazy to do this step since it means washing another pot so I just throw my pasta in to cook in the broth about 15 minutes before I want to serve it. I also use 2 32-oz boxes of beef broth and omit the water since I don't want to waste the leftover broth. I will then add in some water if the stew has simmered down quite a bit and more liquid is needed. But however you do it, I hope you'll make a batch this stew and experience your own feelings of warmth and family as we approach the holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs stew meat, cubed
  • 1 c onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I used Herbes de Provence because it's what I had on hand.) OR 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 15-oz cans beef broth
  • 2 c water
  • 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes, plus juice
  • 1 1/2 c zucchini (approx 2)
  • 1 c carrots
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, plus juice
  • 1 15-oz can medium, black olives, plus juice
  • 1 c shell noodle, pre-cooked
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Generously salt and pepper your stew meat.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Brown your meat - possibly in two batches to prevent it from "stewing".
  • Add in your onions, garlic and Italian seasonings and cook another 3-4 minutes until the onions are starting to soften.
  • Add in your broth, water, tomatoes, zucchini and carrots.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
  • Add your kidney beans, black olives (and pasta, if you did not pre-cook it) and cook at a high simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • If you pre-cooked your pasta, add it to the mixture right before serving.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • Ladle into shallow soup bowls.
  • Top with parmesan cheese.
  • Serve with some crusty bread and Caesar salad on the side. Enjoy....

Yield: One big pot full
 

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