Prep 30 mins
Cook 9 hrs
Vegetable soup cooked all day on the stove makes the whole house smell good on cold rainy days. This Minestrone is topped with pesto and is a little different from most as it has no beans or pasta. (For a vegetarian version the salt pork can be skipped.) This is delicious served with whole wheat bread or rolls on cold rainy/snowy days.
- 3 carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley
- 1⁄2 lb lean salt pork (can be skipped for a vegetarian version)
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup beef stock (or use beef bouillion granilliars or 2 beef bouillion cubes)
- 1⁄4 cup dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 1⁄4 cups frozen peas
for the pesto
- 1⁄2 cup basil
- 1⁄2 cup parsley
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄4 cup pecorino romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- In a food processor, chop finely one of the carrots, onions, celery, green pepper and garlic. Transfer finely chopped vegetables to large pot.
- Add parsley, salt pork, and 3 quarts of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium low and simmer covered for six hours (or use a crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours).
- With a slotted spoon, transfer salt pork to a food processor and process until fat liquifies and meat turns into a paste (30 seconds).
- Put salt pork through a sieve and back into pot (discarding solids).
- Skim off fat from broth and discard.
- Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock base (or bouillion), basil and oregano to pot. Season with 1 teaspoon pepper and simmer over medium low heat for 2 more hours (or 4-6 hours in a crockpot).
- Add 4 cups water to pot, increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. (If using a crockpot put on high to cook vegetables for 1-2 hours).
- Meanwhile slice remaining 2 carrots crosswise into rounds.
- Add carrots to pot along with green beans and peas. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile make pesto by combining pesto ingredients (basil- oil) in a food processor and process until smooth. Seaon to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon pesto into soup.
- Serve with grated spinkled parmesan and pecorino-romano cheese if desired.
Here's another REALLY GREAT SOUP recipe that I prepared as vegetarian, leaving out the pork & using a vegetable stock instead of the beef kind ~ Great for serving my veggie son & DIL! We enjoyed this keeper of a recipe very much ~ Thanks for sharing it! [Tagged & made in Please Review My Recipe]
Absolutely awesome soup! Did not have any fresh green beans on hand, so used some frozen mixed veggies instead of the beans and peas. Also used olive oil instead of the salt pork. The pesto really makes this soup. A real keeper of a recipe, Ellie. Thanks.