Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beef and Cannellini Bean Minestrone Soup

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced into ¼ inch pieces or handful of baby carrots diced
3 ribs of celery, trimmed and diced into ¼ inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ lb lean ground beef (I use 1 lb of ground beef to make it more hearty. And I have used ground buffalo and ground sirloin, both turned out great)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small can of tomato paste with basil and oregano
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 15 oz can cannellini beans (which are essentially white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 dried bay leaf
Grated Parmesan as garnish
Italian seasoning
Zucchini cut into ¼ inch pieces

1.    In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Stir the onion, carrot, and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables are soft.

2.    Increase the heat to high and add the ground beef and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through.

3.    Stir in the tomato paste and mix to combine. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, zucchini and bay leaf. Add a small handful of dried oregano and a equal amount of dried basil then add a pinch of garlic salt.  Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half(about 30 minutes).

4.    Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season if necessary. Add grated Parmesan as a garnish when serving.