something hearty- minestrone soup

Where or where has the good spoon been? Without sharing too much, I've been here there, and everywhere. Talk about a time of unknown and transition. A time of lots of humbleness and day by day trusting. Being back in SB I've been enjoying the sunshine while my family and friends eastward are snowed in- literally. I got out just in time and don't take it lightly that I can sit on the beach and watch the sunset.

Although it's not "cold" here as others would call it, the cooler weather does make me want to make something hearty, and with my new subscription to Cook's Illustrated, I tapped into their Minestrone Soup recipe. This recipe did not disappoint, full of new techniques and layers of flavor. For those of you who can get out to the stores, pick up these budget friendly ingredients, and make a pot of soup.

Base recipe thanks to Cooks Illustrated, with some Good Spoon Variations...

Step 1>: Brine the beans. I got the beans (1 cup dried cannellini) the day I was going to make them, so I opted for the "quick brine" approach. Combine 1 1/2 Tbs. salt into 2 qts. water. Add the beans and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour.

Step 2: Heat 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil in dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 2 medium celery ribs (more flavor) chopped, 1 medium carrot chopped, and 1 onion chopped. Cook until transclucent, about 5-9 minutes.

Step 3: Stir in 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1/2 small head of green cabbage, chopped into 2 inch cubes. Add 1/2 tsp. salt. Allow vegetables to steam and wilt then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Step 4: To dutchie, add the soaked beans, 8 cups of water, 2 cups chicken broth, a 2 inch chunk of parmesan (including the rind), and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 5: Add reserved vegetables and 1 1/2 cups V8 juice (this helps the veg flavor pop). Cook 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf, parm rind- which will be nice and gooey because some of that parm is now in the broth (yum!) and season with salt and pepper to taste. NOW- chop up 1 cup fresh basil, stir in, grate some parm on top, and enjoy with some crusty bread.


  1. Welcome back! I missed reading your blog!

  2. looks go0od. i love your blog, always gives me ideas on what to cook for me and my room mate.