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Go Ask Mom

Recipe: Minestrone soup

Posted June 6, 2013

My husband passed on this recipe to me the other month with two words: "looks good."

It comes from Michael Ruhlman, the cook and author who has written some amazing books about food, cooking and most everything related to it. My husband has made, among other things, the corned beef from his cookbook "Charcuterie." If you like cured meats, this book is a beauty.

But knowing how long it took to make that corned beef, I was expecting something very complicated. Something like a million steps and hours on the stove. With two kids at home at dinner time, I don't have that kind of time or patience.

Not so much. This soup takes less than 30 minutes to make and is a great option for a busy weeknight, especially if you cut up the vegetables before hand. While it's delicious the day you make it, it's even better the next day.

Ruhlman's recipe actually comes from his sister-in-law. This isn't like any kind of minestrone soup that I've had before. I was expecting more chunks of vegetables. This is quite different, but wonderful all the same.

Minestrone soup from Ruhlman.com

4 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans or 1 pound of dried garbanzos, cooked separately
1 onion, cut into small dice
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
1 quart chicken stock or water
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
2 teaspoons cumin
black pepper to taste
soy sauce to taste (about a tablespoon)
6 plum tomatoes, cut into small dice
2 cups cooked little pasta, such as ditalini
2 tablespoons minced parsley
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving (optional)

Purée half of the garbanzo beans and set aside.

In a large heavy pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, adding the salt as you do.

When the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes, add the liquid, tomato paste, rosemary, cumin, pepper, soy sauce, garbanzo beans (both puréed and whole), and tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the pasta and continue to cook until the pasta is hot. Serve, topped with the parsley and grated cheese.

I took Ruhlman's suggestion and served it with some crusty bread to soak up the bottom of the bowl goodness. We'll be eating that again.

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