Grandpa Mac’s Minestrone
Originally made for “Mac vs. Cheese” night at Soup & Bread at the Hideout. Naturally we chose “Mac.” Thanks to Inspiration Corporation, the beneficiary organization for the evening, for the soup photo below.

grandpa mac minestrone 2-5-13

¼ c. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced

1 c. potatoes, diced to ½ inch
1 c. butternut squash, peeled & diced to ½ inch
salt & pepper to taste

6 c. veggie stock (meaty stocks are also good)
1 c. diced tomato with liquid

1 c. cooked dry beans (I used our Merlot red beans, but pinto, kidney, or cannellini are okay)
1 c. chard or other greens, de-stemmed & chopped
1 t. fresh thyme leaves

½ c. parsley leaves, chopped
½ c. uncooked pasta (I used pasta made with our wheat by Nellcôte Restaurant on Randolph St.)

Nellcôte pasta

Use a heavy-bottomed pot if possible. Heat olive oil over medium flame and add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook (or “sweat”) the veggies for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add potatoes, squash, salt, and pepper, and cook for 5-10 minutes more. Now add stock and tomato, bring the whole thing to a boil and boil slowly for 15 minutes or so. Throw in the dry beans, greens, thyme if you have it, and cook 10-15 minutes longer. Test veggies to be sure they’re done; if not, cook till they are.

Pasta can be cooked separately and added at serving time to be sure that it doesn’t get mushy, or added dry to cook 5-7 minutes before serving. Stir in parsley before serving. Top each bowl with sprouts, more parsley, grated parmesan, or whatever you have around that makes it look nice.

Serves 4-6. Based on Mark Bittman’s basic vegetable soup instructions in How to Cook Everything, this recipe is extremely forgiving and lends itself to substitutions.

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