Minestrone
Minestrone can have a large variety of ingredients, basically Vegetables.

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 Potato masher
1 small can Tomato sauce 8 ounces
2-3 Beef or Chicken Bouillion cubes. (2-3 Cups fresh or canned broth is fine)
OPTIONAL:
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 potato peeler.

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.
   
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