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Meaty Minestrone

Category: Soups
posted by: Bendergirl
Rate this Recipe:
11 votes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb. country style pork ribs
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 lg. onion
1 lg. clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 (14-oz.) cans chicken stock
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 gold potatoes
1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2-3 cups water
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 zucchini, diced
1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup cabbage, cut up
3-4 fresh basil leaves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 lb. small pasta, cooked al dente (ditalini, farfalline)
Heat oil on large stock pot on med-low. Generously season the pork and brown it on all sides. Remove from pot and set aside. Add celery, carrots, onions and bay leaf to the oil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and some salt and pepper and cook for 3 more minutes.

Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes and reserved meat to pot. Cook for several hours on low until meat is tender, add potatoes during the last ½ hour. Remove bay leaves and break apart meat. Add crushed tomatoes & water to desired consistency. Add crushed red pepper, zucchini, beans, cabbage, basil, parsley & parmesan cheese and simmer for 15 minutes until tender but not overcooked.

To serve, add some pasta to your bowl and ladle soup over. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese.

About this Recipe:
Traditional minestrone is sometimes made with meat - usually pancetta that is browned first in the pot - just like I have done with the pork here. But the cut of pork I have used here has a good amount of meat on it that adds to the flavor of the soup like the pancetta but also turns it into a full meal.

Easily turn this into a vegetarian dish by omitting the pork - just start off sautéing the celery, carrots and onion and go from there. Also replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

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