minestrone

A Minestrone Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Souper Trouper

This isn’t our first time at the minestrone rodeo! In 2012 we made this minestrone recipe and Mom must have surely loved this soup because I think I’ve found 3 different minestrone soup recipes in her cookbook.

While the formal definition of minestrone calls for a thick soup with bits of pasta, this recipe – sans the pasta – is just as tasty as our first find, which included dittalini. With Italian origins, this tasty soup warms you up on a cold day! It’s good all by itself or partnered with some fresh baked bread and a salad. For those who don’t know me, a side of wine is a given. :)

foodie tips

  I used red cabbage for a pop a’ color.

  I was concerned at first sight by the mass quantity of soup. But when I later did the math I realized it’s perfect for a party of eight. Or 4 days of 2 bowls each.  :/~  You can also bag and freeze leftovers for a quick meal when you’re short on time.

  “Navy beans” are referred to by many a name. Haricot. Pearl Haricot. Pea Bean. This high fiber bean isn’t navy blue in color – rather white – and prized for its cholesterol-lowering health benefits plus its ability to retain an oval shape after being cooked tender. Navy beans received their nickname after being a popular staple of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century.
Why Are They Called Navy Beans?

i. ingredients

2 cups | navy beans
4 quarts | cold water
| beef bouillon cubes (or beef broth)
2 tablespoons | vegetable oil
1 ½ cups | onion, chopped
2 cups | celery, sliced
2 cloves | garlic, minced
3 tablespoons | parsley, chopped
1 pound can | tomatoes, chopped (including juice)
1 teaspoon | basil, crumbled (or a few fresh leaves, torn by hand)
½ teaspoon | oregano, crumbled
2 teaspoons | salt (we prefer kosher salt or grey sea salt)
¼ teaspoon | pepper, freshly cracked
1 cup (3 medium) | carrots, thinly sliced
4 cups (4 small) | unpeeled zucchini, sliced
10 ounce package | frozen green peas
10 ounce package | frozen cut green beans
¼ head (2 cups) | cabbage, sliced
to serve | parmesan cheese, grated

Use Red Cabbage For Minestrone Soup... For A Pop Of Color!ii. what to do

1. Wash the navy beans. Place beans, water and bouillon (or broth) in a large pot. Bring slowly to boil and simmer, covered 1 ½ hours, or until the beans are soft. While the beans soften now’s a good time for a little wine rest break! #LongDay

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add this mixture to the beans and broth.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

4. To serve, sprinkle each serving with the grated parmesan cheese and ENJOY!

Yields: About 8-9 servings (~2 cups each, in size). Nutritional info is below in the original recipe scan!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

 

How To Make Minestrone Soup

A Minestrone Soup Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Betty’s Original Minestrone Soup Recipe

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betty’s main course minestrone

mom's minestrone soup

Bacontime

It donned on me as I started cooking the first ingredient for this dish ~ bacon ~ that most of our family has lived with a microwave in the kitchen, than without.

Gulp. I’m old!

While the microwave’s origins go back as early as the 1930s, by the late 1970s, the prices made them more affordable. By 1986, only 25% of Americans had a microwave meaning us Kikers were early adopters of magic!

Aside from microwave popcorn, and scrambled eggs, bacon was something that the microwave could heat fast n’ good, turning Mom into a time-saving magician.

This recipe doesn’t call for microwaving the bacon, but either way you’ll find every spoonful of the salty stuff a special surprise.

the makin's for minestone

Let’s Eat

i. ingredients

3 slices | bacon, finely chopped
1 cup | onion, chopped
½ cup | celery, chopped
2 large cloves | garlic, minced
1 teaspoon | basil leaves
1 can | campbell’s beef broth
1 can | campbell’s bean with bacon soup
1½ soup cans | water
1 can (16 ounces) | stewed tomatoes, undrained
½ cup | uncooked ditalini pasta
½ teaspoon | salt
1 cup | cabbage, cut into long, thin shreds
1 cup | zucchini, cubed

ditalini pastaii. what to do

1. In a large saucepan, brown bacon and cook onion and celery with garlic and basil until tender.

2. Stir into soup the water, tomatoes, ditalini and salt. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat.

3. Simmer 15 minutes.

4. Add cabbage and zucchini. Cook 10 minutes more or until done, stirring occasionally.

Yields: 8 cups.


Foodie Tips ~

 Why not partner a bowl of this soup with some tasty bread?
 This recipe can easily be doubled for larger food gatherings.

Foodie Note ~

When I found this recipe, it didn’t have a name. I went online and found out that this was indeed a minestrone soup recipe. I later found a couple other minestrone recipes in Mom’s cookbook so I know it was one of her favorites. 

mom's minestrone recipe


swedish meatballs

swedish meatballs : in the bowl and ready to rollA Swedish Dish

“A piece of bread in your pocket is better than a feather in your hat.”

~ Swedish proverb

I’ll need larger pockets, as I’m a foodie through and through. And I do love my bread! Feathers aside, this dish is one of my Top 10 “mom favorites.”

One of my earliest experiences with international food came in the form of these meatballs and the Swedish Chef making special appearances on The Muppet Show (no kidding).

Thanks goodness mom was able to bring a bit of international tastebud travel to our tummies, compliments of this recipe and some of the Tex Mex favorites you’ll find here on “The Nook.” I can remember well mom’s electric skillet bursting with steam carrying the sensational and savory smells of swedish meatballs; where hearty meets happy. No wonder I wore Husky jeans growing up!

Yeah, I know… “more to love.”

Let’s Make a’ Meatballs
(said with an Italian-Swedish accent)

i. ingredients

| cage free eggs, slightly beatenswedish meatballs ~ browned and ready for the sauce
1 cup | milk
½ cup | dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
½ cup | finely chopped onion
1 pound | ground chuck
¼ pound | ground pork
1-¾ teaspoons | salt
¾ teaspoon | dill weed
¼ teaspoon | allspice
⅛ teaspoon | nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon | cardamom
3 tablespoons | flour
⅛ teaspoon | freshly ground black pepper
10-½ ounce can | beef broth
½ cup | light cream

ii. what to do

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk and dry bread crumbs.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter. Sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Lift the onions out of the skillet with a slotted spoon; add to the bread crumb mixture, the ground chuck, ground pork, 1-½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon dill weed, the allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom.

3. With a wooden spoon or your hands, mix well to combine.

4. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 325°F.

6. Take the meat mixture from the fridge and shape it into meatballs, each about 1″ in diameter.

7. In remaining hot butter, divide the meatballs into groups of 2 or 3 and sauté them until they are browned all over.

swedish meatballs ~ hot outta the oven8. Transfer the meatballs into a 2-quart casserole, after they are browned.

9. Remove the skillet from heat. Pour off the drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons (add more butter if necessary).

10. Pour the dripping back into the skillet and add flour, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the pepper, stirring together to make a smooth slurry over medium heat.

11. Gradually stir-in the beef broth, bringing the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cream and remaining ½ teaspoon dill weed. Pour sauce over meatballs in casserole dish.

12. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Garnish top of meatballs with fresh dill sprigs, if desired.

Makes: 6 servings.

Foodie Tips ~

 Serve the meatballs atop some wide, wavy egg noodles.

 I love the sauce and will double it on my next “go” of this recipe.

While a salt lover, I found this recipe a little salty for me so I’ll decrease the sodium shakes on my next Swedish adventure.

a scan of mom's original swedish meatball recipe


french onion soup

french onion soup ~ one of mom's favoritesI remember as a kid I was not a fan of soups; they seemed kinda boring to me.

In “walked” cheese.

Cheese transformed everything for me. It had magical superhero powers that could turn sad days sunny. And frowns upside down. The best part? It still does!

I only remember eating mom’s french onion soup once. And once is all it took to tickle the tummy… and the heart.

This soup is a delicious “pick-you-up” during rainy days and chilly nights. It’s easy to make and even easier to eat! Why don’t you share a bowl with a friend or two?

Whaddayawaitin’ for? Soup’s on!

i. ingredients

3-4 | medium onions, thinly sliced (3 cups)
2 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter (Nanny says so)
2 cans | condensed beef broth
1¼ cups | water
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
2 handfuls | your favorite sliced bread
1-2 cups | freshly grated parmesan cheese
to taste | freshly ground black pepper

ii. what to do

sliced onions used in mom's french onion soup0. Get ready to toast the bread. Preheat toaster oven (or oven) to 350°F .

1. Cook the onions and the butter in a medium-sized pot until lightly browned (about 15 minutes).

2. Add broth, water and worcestershire sauce. Simmer 20 minutes.

3. While the soup is simmering, generously sprinkle cheese on top of the bread and toast in a toaster oven (or oven) until lightly browned.

4. Spoon the soup into serving bowls and top with the toasted cheese bread. The more, the merrier.

5. Garnish with fresh black pepper.

Still hungry for more? Consume more french onion soup goodness here at wiki.

Foodie Tip ~

  If you’re in a pinch, you can use croutons instead of making bread the good old fashioned way. It won’t be as delicious, but you’ll still take your taste buds on a flavor adventure.

the original french onion soup recipe


gazpacho

lela's gazpacho soup It’s my 45th birthday this week.

While my birthday is celebrated just 364 days each year, I’m sharing this recipe with you from one of mom’s favorite friends… Lela!

Funny, when I was a child, I didn’t even think twice about soup… and now I know I’ll love this gazpacho even before I eat it!

Get ready to cool off with this delicious foodie veggie favorite!

i. ingredients

1 – 1 pound can | stewed tomatoes
1 – 10-1/2 ounce can | condensed beef broth
1  cup | peeled chopped cucumber
1 cup | chopped celery
1 cup | sliced onions
2 tablespoons | lemon juice
1 small clove | garlic, finely chopped
to taste | fresh ground black pepper

ii. what to do

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized pot.

2. Over medium heat, simmer gently until onions and celery are tender (about 10 minutes).

3. Served chilled.

Foodie Tip ~

  Try fine-chopping the vegetables for a smoother consistency.

Foodie Fun Fact ~

The coordinates on the back of the card? I don’t know the relationship to the recipe, but it looks like they were set in mom’s handwriting (not Lela’s.) Looks like the coordinates will set you in the Gulf of Mexico just outside Corpus Christi… one of our family’s favorite watering holes. Maybe there’s a buried treasure there?

Lela’s actual recipe card is below!

lela swinny's gazpacho recipe