Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Starlings' Minestrone Soup

1 lb spicy Italian sausage
Olive oil
1 diced Onion
1 can white beans (cannelini, white kidney, Great Northern, Navy etc), drained
1 can Kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 qt or 2 cans chicken broth
3/4 of a bunch of lacinato kale (the flat kind) rough chopped (or other vegetables)
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper 
Kosher salt
4 cups water
Shell pasta cooked al dente in a separate pot

Brown the sausage with a splash of olive oil and the diced onions.  Then add the tomatoes, beans, chicken broth, 4 C water, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  At this point you can add in any number of vegetables: Carrots, celery, green beans, corn, spinach etc I like kale because is keeps its texture and adds something to bit into in the soup.  Simmer for a long time - at least 40 min or longer if you like.

 I wait until the last 30 min or so to put the kale in I would do the same with spinach.

I always boil my noodles in a separate pan in plain salted water and then I serve them on the table with the soup.  Put a scoop of noodles in the bowl and then ladle the soup on top. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread.

Why?  Two reasons, the first is that all the starch from the noodles gets into soup if you cook them in the soup. Second, I hate mushy noodles and the noodles always get overcooked - even if they don't get over done while cooking they soak up all the moisture in the fridge and get mushy.  When I freeze the leftovers I freeze without noodles and cook fresh noodles when I reheat the frozen soup.  I do the same thing with my chicken noodle soup.

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