Where we live in Colorado, it’s about to be FREEZING. I love cold days if I get to stay inside by the fire, spend the day baking or making stews of some kind, and if we manage to score a “late start” or, even better, a “snow day” from school then the cold day has been made perfect! So, for all my friends and family who are looking for something so delicious to make for dinner on these frosty nights, here’s something hearty and simple. A favorite at our house. Serves about 4-6.
recipe adapted from Food Adventures by Elisabeth Luard and Frances Boswell
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped
- 3 slices prosciutto, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup cavatelli or any medium sized pasta
- 4-5 large leaves of kale, ribbed and chopped roughly
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced in half
- a small loaf of rustic crusty bread sliced thick
- a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano for grating/shaving
- salt and pepper
- Warm the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and add the onion, carrots, celery, and chopped prosciutto. Cook the vegetables, stirring, for 3-5 minutes to soften, but don’t let them brown.
- Add 6-8 cups of water, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the parsley, bay leaves, and potatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Add the pasta, then return soup to boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the chopped kale.
- Let it bubble up for another 5 minutes, or until vegetables and pasta are tender, and much of the broth has been absorbed and the soup is thick enough to hold a wooden spoon upright for a second or two (less like a brothy soup, and more like a thicker stew of veggies).
- Add salt to taste.
- Put a thick slice of bread in each bowl, then rub the side facing up with sliced garlic (discard the garlic or save it for another use).
- Ladle the minestrone over the bread, and serve with freshly grated/shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.