Thursday, September 8, 2011


Upstate New York is literally under water. The flooding is just terrible and scary and reminds me of how powerful Mother Nature is. Fortunately, my family is safe but lots of people are not as lucky. I sincerely hope everyone stays safe.

In other news, autumn is in the air. At least in my neck of the woods. Since soup and I are bff's 4ever or is it truLov4ever? I can't keep up with the cool kids and their sayings. My point is, me + autumn = soup. 

I'm working on a record for cheesiness in one post, how am I doing?

One of my dearest friend's mother made this minestrone while I was in college and visiting her family. I fell in love with this version. Prior to this I had only had canned minestrone with "eh" as my reaction most often. As it turns out the recipe is from the Joy of Cooking. That Christmas I requested and received the book for this recipe alone. True story. I have used the book for other recipes but most often it is for this minestrone.  One of the major draw backs in my expert err humble opinion of the Joy of Cooking is the complete and utter lack of photos. Thumbs down for a cook book.

Well after that rousing assessment that you couldn't live another moment without - you are most welcome - let's move on to the good stuff. The food! 

Step one: start with a mirepoix saute.  

Use mirepoix with your friends, you'll sound fancy when in fact you're using the French phrase for onions, carrots, and celery.

Step two: add more veggies. 

This is the part when things start getting good, half a head of green cabbage shredded and some dark greens. O.M.G. The cabbage makes this dish and I never would have considered adding cabbage to minestrone. Do not skip the cabbage, you will ruin this dish and possibly the rest of your day. Trust me on this one. 

Step three: add beans and liquids. 

Step four: add the pasta.

Step five: add parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 medium celery, chopped
dried herbs - italian blend - basil, parsley, or whatever you have on hand
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
3 Swiss chard leaves washed, dried, and chopped - other greens will work too
14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
16 oz. can of pinto beans or white beans
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock - I use an organic no salt added variety
4 oz. orzo (about half a cup)
2 teaspoons salt
ground pepper to taste
parmesan to top the soup


Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Toss in mirepoix (onion, celery and carrots) add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and and cook until onions are almost translucent about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. 

Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. 

Toss in cabbage and greens with Italian seasoning. Saute for 5-8 minutes. Add beans and stock. Simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. 

Add orzo and continue simmering for 15 minutes. 

Ladle into soup bowls and add grated parmesan to taste. 



  1. Is swiss chard commonly found dried or did you do it yourself? If you did it yourself, how?

  2. Kyle! Swiss chard is fresh not dried and you can find it in the grocery store (widely available) in the same section as other dark greens so chards, large leaf spinach, collard greens. To prepare the chard just wash well, take the large leaves off the stalks and do a rough chop. I hope you try the soup!

  3. Oh I was thinking that it was "dried" chard, which in hindsight makes no sense. The recipe looks great, so does the blog :0)