OK, this isn't real minestrone soup, I realize that. We just call it that because it is great with cheese tortellini and Parmesan cheese. I'm not even sure it's my mom's recipe, but that's what family tradition calls it. I do have an outstanding authentic minestrone soup recipe which I will post later. I made this soup with a girlfriend; we got together to make huge batches of soup for freezing. We also made a very nice white chili that day.This soup is very easy to assemble:
diced onion, celery, carrot (all to taste, about 1 C each)
4C chicken stock
- please do yourself a favor and get in the habit of using real, low sodium stock and not canned chicken broth.... it really makes a difference. Of course, using home made is the best option.
1 C water
1 T beef crystals
1/2 t dried oregano, 1/2 t dried basil, 1/2 t garlic powder
1 large can stewed tomatoes ( you will cut them up with kitchen scissors)
Cook all this for about 1 hour on a low simmer
1 can mixed veggies with all the liquid
1 can light kidney beans with all the liquid
1 can baby peas with all the liquid
1 small can garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) with all the liquid
Cook for another hour or so.
As you can see from the photo above, there is one more can to be added and that's the secret ingredient to this soup - Cream of Mushroom soup..... be sure to use a high quality brand.
Put the cream soup in a small bowl and whisk in a bit of the hot liquid, adding more and more of it until the creamed soup is not clumpy at all.... then pour it all back in the pot of hot soup.
Serve with tortellini which has been cooked separately and lots of good Parmesan cheese.
I don't really cook with canned products very often, but somehow, in this soup it really works. As I mentioned before, this soup freezes well.
Here is a special hello to my young friend Peter, who was unable to help with the cooking this day. He is a true soup lover!