Monday, August 16, 2010

My Favorite Summer Soup

I know soup in the summer time seems a little strange. Except when you really think about it, we spend most of our time in the nice, cool air conditioning (if you are lucky enough to have it!) anyway. AC is actually the perfect weather for soup! Still, I don't think I could handle anything too heavy. Even my beloved potato and leek soup is a bit much for the most doggiest days of summer. Minestrone is my go-to.

I'm not sure what actually makes minestrone minestrone. Most of the time I know it's supposed to be made with beans, more specifically garbanzo beans. I don't really like garbanzo beans, so I left them out. I could use white beans as a substitute, but I really like the soup the way it is, so I haven't been bothered to make any changes. The veggies are delicious in this, and I think the beef flavor is fantastic. Be sure to load it up with some parmesan on top, it definitely helps the flavor!

adapted from some old cookbook of my mom's!
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
8 c. beef broth (can use bouillion or Better than Bouillion)
1/2 tsp. dry basil (I have used 1 tbsp. fresh)
1/2 tsp. dry oregano (I have used 1 tbsp. fresh)
3 ounces pasta of your choice
1 package frozed, chopped spinach (thawed)
1/2 c. grated parmesan
In a large, 6-quart pan, brown the meat. Don't drain it once it has finished. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the beef broth, basil, and oregano. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Add the pasta and spinach and increase the heat slightly to about medium-high. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Add 2 tbsp. of parmesan and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the rest of the parmesan over soup in bowls. This should make about 6 to 8 servings. Slurp it up!

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