With all the busyness of this week with the events at school, I totally neglected (AGAIN!) to post a recipe for your Friday dinner during Lent. If I hurry, you might still be able to use this one tonight.
How about Minestrone Soup? (I think I've shared this recipe here before, but it can stand repeating!) This is a typical Italian vegetable soup that can just as easily have meat added. If you like fish, you could also add some firm white fish (halibut, mahi mahi), as well as various other sea-related creatures and come close to a cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) … not quite, but close.
Some recipes I've found call for the whole vegetable garden, but I keep it pretty simple. You'll never convince me that zucchini, green beans, eggplant, or broccoli taste good when they are cooked to 'mushy' in a soup. I suppose you could add any of those at the end of the cooking time, but I think they should stay in their own spaces! So my recipe is quite simple and besides a little bit of chopping, doesn't take much time.
- 8 c. water
- ¼ c. dried split peas
- ½ c. dried kidney beans
- 4 t. beef bouillon granules
- 1 t. dried basil
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1 t. dried parsley
- 1 ½ t. salt
- ½ t. ground pepper
- (1 lb. Italian sausage—if desired)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- ½ c. chopped onion
- 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 c. elbow macaroni
Put the water in a large pot; add the first 8 ingredients and simmer for 1 ½ hours. (You can do this step early in the day, or even the night before!)
(If using Italian Sausage … brown it in a skillet, breaking it into small pieces. Add the vegetables to the skillet and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, vegetables, and tomatoes to the soup and let cook until the carrots are tender (about 30 minutes).
(If NOT using Italian Sausage … put 1-2 T. olive oil in a large skillet, add the vegetables and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables and the tomatoes and let cook about 30 minutes.)
Bring soup to a boil and add the macaroni. Cook until the macaroni is done (follow package instructions).
Serve with crusty Italian bread.