And yes, it's time for a soup recipe. The weather was cold and very rainy here today and Minestrone entered my mind. My original Minestra is a two day affair but this needed to be quicker. It was so delicious that I need to get it down on paper.
This makes a nice big pot - plenty for 8 (enough for the three of us for 2 dinners, a couple of lunches).
Prep time is about 40 minutes
Cooking time is at least an hour
About 1/2 lb of any kind of beef, cut into small pieces
1 onion, diced
1 big leek, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 bunch of swiss chard
1 small can diced tomatoes
2 qts chicken or beef stock
salt, pepper, thyme
Parmegianno-Reg, grated and rind
1 can chick peas
1/2 cup of Orzo (or other small pasta)
4 shallots, cut in half polar-wise and sliced
Saute the beef in olive oil. Remove from pan
Diced and drop the onions, leeks and carrots (in that order). Let them saute till tender
Add about 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp of thyme (to taste)
I considered adding red pepper flakes at this point.
Return the beef to the pot along with
Stock, Tomatos, Chick Peas, Swiss Chard and Parm rind
Simmer about an hour or so.
Add the orzo in the last 20 minutes (or so).
I sauteed the sliced shallots in olive oil for a good 20 minutes or so and used that as a garnish. It was worth the bit of extra trouble. It added a nice sweetness to the soup and an extra texture.
Serve with parm atop.
Heaven. It was worth the wait. Whatever is in your fridge or to your taste works here.
The proportions of liquids to solids should remain the same. It's a nice hearty soup.