Minestrone

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“Each region in Italy has its own variation of minestrone. This is the version fromCalabria, Italy where my parents were from”  -Eva Russo

3 pound of 7-bone roast or something similar, like the shin of beef, etc. salt
4 quarts water
4 medium carrots, pared and diced
4 sprigs parsley-fresh is better, but dried is okay
2 large celery stalks, cut up in small pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 large can of Italian diced tomatoes
1 can chick-peas or red kidney beans (or half & half)
1 package (10 oz) frozen cut green beans
1 package (10 oz) frozen peas
2 cups chopped escarole (or chopped cabbage)
2 med potatoes, diced (optional)
¼ pound perciatelli or spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces.
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried sweet basil or Italian seasonings
1 can Swanson’s Beef broth to add if necessary

Place beef, 1 tablespoon salt, and water in a large kettle. Bring to boiling, covered half way; then skim surface. (It takes a while for all that foam to clear – just keep skimming).

Add carrots, parsley, celery, onion and optional potatoes, garlic powder and bay leaf, simmer, (lowest flame) uncovered 3 hours.

Remove beef and with a large straining spoon remove vegetables and set aside. Throw away bay leaf. Strain broth–there should be about 7 cups.

In kettle, combine broth, tomatoes, chick-peas, or beans, escarole, pasta, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper, sweet basil; bring to boiling, stirring occasionally. Then reduce heat and simmer, cover partially with cover on kettle, for about 45 minutes.

Cut meat from bone and remove any fat, and cut into small pieces. Add meat and vegetables to the simmering soup. Add more of the canned broth if needed. Taste for seasonings.

Note: you can substitute small ditali pasta instead of broken perciatelli or spaghetti.

Eva Russo

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