Who remembers Saturday nights in the Winter growing up??? Not sure if every household did this, but I know my family did. Saturday nights would be Game Night and family and friends would bring all sorts of foods to each other houses and play all sorts of games.
There were crock pots & food trays lining counters throughout the house. People were playing everything from Kings in the Corner, Pinochle, 21 to all sorts of Board Games! I miss these times and hope to start it up with friends this year!
Here’s a recipe that has been passed through Family members and can be quickly made on stove top or in crock pot.
Classic Minestrone (Makes 4 Qts)
- 1 T. each Butter & Olive Oil
- 3 quarts. Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth
- 2 T. Basil, dried
- 1-1/2 C. Carrots, diced
- 1-1/2 C. Celery, diced
- 2 cans Kidney or Cannellini beans, rinsed & drained (see notes below)
- 1 T. Oregano, dried
- 2 T. Parsley, dried
- 2 C. Spinach leaves, rough chopped
- 2 cans Tomatoes, petite (15oz), undrained
- 1 White onion, minced fine
- 2 Zucchini, sliced, rough chopped
- Parmesan or Romano Rind, cut in small pieces (opt.)
- 2 C. Ditalini or other small pasta shape
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
Melt butter and olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini. Let cook for 8-10 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add the diced tomatoes, beans, either of the broths (but not both), basil, parsley, oregano and cheese rind (if using). Stir together and let come to a low boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to medium/low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add spinach and dried pasta shells. Let cook until pasta is done.
Taste, adjust seasonings.
~ Bon Appetite!
- Chef Notes:
I add salt & pepper at the end if needed. I allow the flavors of the dish to come thru in the cooking process before seasoning.
Dried beans are a great alternative to use and requires to be soaked overnight (at least 24 hrs). Anything canned has salt in it for preservation of the product. I used dried beans in this recipe, which required more time for prep. By using dried beans, you can measure out exactly what you need.
By adding cheese rinds to the soup as it cooks, adds another dimension of flavor and there’s salt in cheese as well.