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Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe: Beef Minestrone

Hearty bowl of Beef Minestrone with health-boosting veggies

A heavy cold fog has landed on the plateau and has been sticking around all weekend.  It creates a magical wonderland, covering the trees and grass with a crystal frost.
Really pretty. 

the blackberry bushes are all frozen

the steer look frozen too!

Frozen landscape, foggy day... perfect day for a simmering pot of minestrone.  I make my minestrone using a beef broth, a 1/4 lb. of hamburger, lots of veggies, garlic and beans.  This is one of my favorite soups to make and eat.  Hearty, delicious, the creaminess of the beans, sweetness of the squash and the warmth of the kale and garlic... you just feel good eating it.  With a crusty bread, glass of red wine.. I am in heaven.  

Beef Minestrone Soup

2 T. olive oil
1 lg. onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 cup of butternut squash, peeled & cubed (about 1/2" size)
1-2 lg. carrots, diced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 lb. ground beef 
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
chunk of frozen parmesan rind
1 sprig of fresh thyme (or 3/4t. dried)
1 bay leaf
4 cups beef broth
1 cups kale, chopped
1 cup water
1 can of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

In a large dutch oven or saucepan, heat olive oil over med high heat.  
Add onions, celery, carrots, butternut squash and mushrooms, season with salt + pepper and saute til soft (about 4-5 minutes).  
Add ground beef and garlic, stirring til browned and cooked thru (about 5 minutes).  
Stir in tomato paste, add herbs, cheese rind, broth + water and kale.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  
Add beans, allowing them to warm, remove bay leaf and thyme sprig, check for seasoning. 
Serve with a fresh grating of parmesan. 

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