When in Rome

Minestrone Soup with Garlic Bruschetta:

It’s a cold blustery day, with snow wisping from the tree tops. Days like these gush for a bowl of hot spicy soup curled up by a warm fire, contemplating something meaningful, or at the very least, something humorous and fun. I remember growing up in the 1970’s with many types of soups, however, usually ill prepared, high sodium portions, and at that time meant very little to me. Times have changed, and I as the consummate culinary scientist today, are about experiment and finding variations of unattainable perfection. The earliest origin of this particular soup pre-dates the Roman Empire, and since I needed inspiration, it beckoned worthy exploration to better understand its core. There is no one way to make a dish that is based on multiple regions and seasonality’s of various root vegetables. So too is the simplicity and delicate nature of essentially a vegetable soup. I chose not to overcomplicate with too many ingredients, and in doing so, resulted in a very balanced and flavorful dish that also filled the house with lingering flavorful aromas and a true sense of warmth.

SECRET INGREDIENT: hint of Balsamic

TIP: For me, it was about keeping it simple. Too often, minestrone soups include everything but the kitchen sink. Balance vegetable types and resist the urge to add more ingredients like other recipes often do.

Minestrone Soup with Garlic Bruschetta

  • Olive oil
  • Chicken sausage
  • Onion (chopped)
  • Celery (1 stalks, chopped)
  • Carrots  (2 chopped))
  • Zucchini (1 cup bite size pieces)
  • Garlic (chopped)
  • Fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • White Wine (1/2 cup)
  • Roma tomato (chopped)
  • Diced Tomatoes (28 oz  Tuttorosso which is lower in sodium than others)
  • Chicken stock (4-6 cups)
  • Bay leaf
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Parmesan rinds
  • Umbricelli pasta (cooked, cut into small pieces, or other small pasta type)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Balsamic vinegar (1 Tbl)
  • Parmesan (garnish)

Sauté sausage until crisp then set aside. In same pot, sauté onion, carrots, celery in olive oil until tender. Add rosemary, oregano, garlic, zucchini, and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Add the wine and deglaze quickly, then add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add stock, bay leaf, thyme sprig and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and add parm rinds, cover partially and simmer until well flavored, about 1 hour. During the last 10 minutes, add pasta and sausage. Discard parm rind, bay leaf, and thyme sprig, and add fresh parsley and balsamic to taste. Garnish with grated and parmesan and serve with garlic bruschetta.

-- Weather When Posted --

  • Temperature: 81°F;
  • Humidity: 58%;
  • Heat Index: 83°F;
  • Wind Chill: 81°F;
  • Pressure: 29.99 in.;

2 thoughts on “When in Rome

    • Thanks Charlie. This was an excellent dish, and the balsamic gave it a delicate complexity. Make sure to have some bread on hand to soak up the last little bits. Cheers

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