minestrone soup

Minestrone Soup RecipeMy Mainstay, Minestrone

This is the third minestrone recipe I’ve discovered in my Mom “Betty’s” cookbook so there’s no doubt this was one of her favorites. This soup’s signature ingredients of beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes will not disappoint. Plus, there’s pasta and cheese!

I’m glad to be reminded that this dish hails from Italy. And not just Italy but ancient Italy (think BC, folks!).

I’ve kidded a few times here at Betty’s Cook Nook that my family must have had poor roots as many of the recipes we ate growing up are considered peasant foods. This is one of them; minestrone belongs to a style of cooking known in Italy as “cucina povera” (literally “poor kitchen”). All I have to say is bring it on — I love my peasant foods as they are hearty and the very origins of comfort foods rely upon them! True story: I once made and devoured an instant mashed potato on sliced white bread sandwich proving my forever love for carby sustenance.

HEB Organics Elbows Macaroni

Macaroni For Me … Macaroni For You!

As a lover and former resident of Italy, one thing I’ve learned is that Italians do not rush in the kitchen. They really don’t rush outside the kitchen, either, unless it’s from behind the wheel of a fast sports car or when horse racing at revered events like Siena’s Palio.

In similar fashion, please don’t hurry this recipe — let the ingredients mingle and get to know one another. While cooking time takes about an hour and a half it’s well worth the wait. You’ll be treated to wonderful smells from your lively kitchen and rewarded with a savory soup that has withstood the test — and taste — of time.

Eating In Cortona Italy

foodie tips

  Back in the day “oil” likely meant Crisco vegetable oil. Since this dish has Italian roots we used olive oil — a kitchen staple. As fan of a great olive oil, for several years I’ve fostered an Italian olive tree living on a farm gracing the hills outside Montalcino, Tuscany. Each year after the Il Palazzone harvest my eyes grow as wide as dinner plates when 3 bottles of pure gold arrive at my door. That’s amore!

  Make sure and check out Mom’s other two minestrone recipes here and here. I’m not sure which version I like best as each has its own merit. In a pinch you could make the one that makes best use of the ingredients you have in your kitchen.

  Wacky about minestrone? Wiki’s got you covered with more interesting facts about this zesty soup!

Minestone Ingredients

i. ingredients

½ cup | olive oil
1 clove | garlic, minced
2 cups | onion, chopped
1 cup | celery, chopped
4 tablespoons | parsley, chopped
6 ounce can | tomato paste
10 ½ ounce can (~1 ½ cups) | beef or vegetable broth
9 cups | water
1 cup | cabbage, coarsely chopped
| carrots, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons | salt
¼ teaspoon | freshly cracked pepper
⅛ teaspoon | sage
1 pound can | kidney beans
1 cup | green beans or peas (we used beans)
1 cup | elbow macaroni
to taste | grated parmesan cheese

ii. what to do

1. In a large pot heat the oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add the garlic, onion, celery, and parsley and cook until soft, about 7-9 minutes.

3. Stir in the tomato paste and the next 7 ingredients (the broth, water, cabbage, carrots, salt, pepper and sage). Mix well and bring to a boil.

4. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer slowly 1 hour.

5. Add the kidney and green beans (or peas) and the macaroni. Cook 10-15 minutes more or until the macaroni is tender.

6. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. That’s right — grated cheese makes the world go ’round!

Yields 8 servings. Keeps well in the refrigerator and reheats nicely!

~ Patrick

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

Minestrone Recipe Card

Here’s A Scan Of Mom’s Actual Recipe Card

How To Make Minestrone Soup

 

 


meat loaf medley

a meat loaf medley recipe from betty's cook nookI Would Do Anything For Loaf

Some of the best recipes are filed away solely in memory. As awesome as this is, it can mean that unless one coverts the recipes to paper or blog before the recipe creator passes, their cherished recipes can pass right along with them.

This is the case with some of my Mom’s and virtually all of my Maternal Grandmother’s recipes! Lucky for me my Mom curated two cookbooks so I have a few hundred recipes for my tastebuds to feast upon (you, too, if you fully experience this blog). The only recipes I have from my Dad are the cherished few that he taught us in person and I don’t have any of my Paternal Grandparent’s (or beyond) recipes. I hope this blog will put a digital stake (steak) in the ground and break my family’s culinary recklessness as I archive many of the recipes fueling my childhood. So far, I’ve published more than 130 recipes … and I have a healthy appetite to keep ’em rollin’!

So given the ease in which some foodies “just remember” how to create in the kitchen, I was not at all surprised that this recipe simply calls for us to literally “make a meat loaf mixture” … yet there is no detail for how to do so! Yeah, I don’t know how to do that! Joe found and adapted an easy-to-make meat loaf recipe so I included the details below if you need a little help making your meat loaf. Feel free to substitute this loaf recipe with your very own favorite; this dish is extremely forgiving – Hello, it’s graced with instant mashed potatoes!

I found this recipe clinging on for dear life near the bottom of this chicken breasts au vin recipe that we recently made so consider these posts a tasty “twofer” for your tummy! This recipe ran in print without a name, so I lovingly named it “meat loaf medley” because it made me chortle a little when the name came to mind. The world “chortle” also makes me chortle! :)

foodie tips ~

  The discerning foodie eye will likely notice that I doubled the servings of mashed potatoes for the top of the meat loaf medley. Eight servings tasted even better – no paper-thin smears of the fluffy stuff for me! Nah, I just won’t do that. Neither would the original Meat Loaf.

  To toast the cheese on top of the meat loaf to a golden brown, as shown, place it under your oven’s broiler for a couple of minutes.

  Most Moms have a favored meat loaf recipe. If you don’t already know hers beyond the heart, I encourage you to get your Mom (or Grandmother) to give you the recipe details so you can safely secure and share it with foodies to come!

i. ingredients

for the meatloaf:

1 pound | lean ground beef
¾ cup | whole milk
1 tablespoon | worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons | fresh sage, chopped
½ teaspoon | salt
½ teaspoon | dry mustard
¼ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
2 cloves | garlic, minced
1 bunch | scallions, chopped
½ cup | dry bread crumbs
½ cup | ketchup or barbecue sauce

for everything else:Idahoan Buttery Homestyle Mashed Potatoes

8 servings | smashed potato buds (we used Idahoan buttery homestyle)
2 handfuls | your favorite shredded yellow cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc.)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Combine all meat loaf ingredients except the ketchup in a large bowl, and mix well. Place the meat loaf mixture into an ungreased 9-inch pie pan and spread the ketchup or barbecue sauce over the top of the loaf.

2. Bake uncovered for about an hour, until no pink remains in the center of the meat loaf (the internal temperature should be ~160 degrees).

3. Just before the meat loaf is done, make the mashed potatoes according to the package instructions and set aside. If you want to add some butter, I won’t tell! Make sure and use Falfurrias brand butter because that’s what my Grandmother “Nanny” (Betty’s Mom) always used.

meat loaf casserole with cheese recipe

4. Remove the loaf from the oven and spread the mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with cheese and return to the oven for a couple of minutes, until the cheese is all melted and toasty good.

meat loaf medley casserole from betty's cook nook

5. Remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes and serve. We enjoyed ours by the spoonful.

Yields 4 – 6 servings

~ Patrick

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

 

Chicken Breasts Au Vin Recipe

A scan of Mom’s original recipe

 

In case you missed the multiple plugs to Meat Loaf (the musical one), here’s one more treat you might “loaf” just as much as this dish!

meat loaf and potatoes recipe

Just one more helping!