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Minestrone can have a large variety of ingredients,
I use a large variety of canned/frozen Vegetables.
I ALWAYS use: (and are available year round)
about 3 Celery stalks, peeled and "haired"
3-5 Potatoes, peeled and cut up into cubes
4-5 Carrots, peeled and diced
1/4 to 1/2 lb. Mushrooms, washed, dried and chopped up
2 regular sized Onions, chopped
2-4 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
about 1/2 stick of Butter
2-4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 large can diced or stewed Tomatoes 29 ounces, mashed with a
1 small can Tomato sauce 8 ounces
2-3 Beef or Chicken Bouillion cubes. (2-3 Cups fresh or canned
broth is fine)
15 ounce cans or frozen of drained Hominy, Navy Beans, Kidney
Beans, Pea's, Green Beans etc.
Fresh sliced or frozen Zucchine
1/2 to 1 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese, 4-8 ounces of shredded
or sliced Mozzarella, 2-4 ounces bite sized Pasta, cooked
"Hair"/peel the Celery by removing the outer silk with a knife or
Peel and dice up the Garlic.
Wash, dry then chop up Mushrooms. Chop Up Onions.
Dice up Celery & Carrots. Save the sprigs of Celery.
Peel and cut up into cubes the Potatoes. Rinse Potatoes again.
In a large Soup Pot, saute the Mushrooms, Onions, Butter, Olive
Oil with Salt and Pepper, till just lightly browned.
Add the remainder of the Vegetables with the mashed up stewed
Tomatoes and the Tomato sauce.
Add the fresh or canned Chicken or Beef Broth.Stir, and top with
water (about 1 inch over the top) If you're not using fresh or
canned broth add the Bouillion cubes.
Simmer low boil for 1-2 hours, covered, and stirring now and then.
When Soup is done, you can portion it off and freeze it in
Tupperware or Zip lock bags.
I would not add Mozzarella to this if that is what you're going to do.
Do that later when you are going to eat it.
But adding Parmesan to Soup is fine before freezing.
When I simmer it, I pour in a generous portion of Parmesan
Cheese and then cover, simmering for about a half hour.
I then remove cover, and repeat with Parmesan Cheese, cover
and simmer for 1/2 hour more. DON'T stir the soup when you do
this. Let it "sink in" to the soup. Only stir the soup if you're
repeating this with Parmesan!! Always cover.
If you have oven safe bowls, you can top with Mozzarella or Swiss
Cheese and bake till Cheese melts.
Bite size Pasta like Ditalini or Orzo works best with this soup. In a
pinch you can boil Mostaccioli and the cut up with scissors.