Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mid winter Minestrone - Weekend Recipe

I posted this recipe back in January on my Facebook page where I generally do an herb tip or recipe every other day or so.  If you want to see those posts when they happen, please like the Backyard Patch page on Facebook.  

That is also the best places to find out where we will be appearing (craft shows, lectures, events, etc.)  Speaking of events -- We are providing 3 demonstration lectures at the Good Foods Festival at the UIC Forum in Chicago on March 15th.  If you are in or near the City of Chicago I'd love to see you.  Here are the details - Good Foods Festival.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound slice pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
1 large or 2 medium red onions, chopped
salt & pepper
1 ounce dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup soft sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 small bunch of purple or green kale, washed and dried
1 cup semolina or whole-wheat ditafini or other short cut pasta
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
2 Tablespoons herb blend of choice
        (or mix together tarragon, savory, basil, marjoram, oregano and thyme)
Pecorino Romano cheese, grated or shredded, to pass at the table

Place a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the pancetta to the pot and cook until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, and onions to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are tender, 7 to 8 minutes more. Add the mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, stock, and water to the pot, and bring up to a boil.  Chop the greens, then add the kale, pasta, chickpeas and herb blend to the soup pot, and cook until the pasta is al dente. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, top with the Pecorino Romano, and serve.

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