Diane Prather: Got veggies? Make Minestrone

Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

Our cabbage is ready now, and I'm trying to find ways to use it. One way is to make Minestrone soup. Lots of other fresh vegetables can be used in the soup, too.

The ingredients for Minestrone Soup are:

1 medium potato (peeled and cut into julienne strips)

1 carrot (cut into diagonal slices)

6 cups canned beef broth (or broth made from bouillon or from cooking a soup bone)

1 (15-ounce) can great northern beans

1 (14-ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes (diced)

1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 medium onion (chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

3/4 teaspoon crushed basil

3/4 teaspoon dried and crushed oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 ounces thin spaghetti (broken into fourths)

1 small zucchini (halved lengthwise and sliced)

1 (9-ounce) package cut green beans or Italian green beans

grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Prepare the beef broth. If cooking a soup bone, remove the meat when it's done - save for another recipe - discard the bone, and measure out the amount needed. If using bouillon, follow the directions on the container. If you choose to use canned broth, 1 14 1/2-ounce can makes about 1 3/4 cups.

Put the 6 cups of broth in a large kettle. Add the potato, carrot, undrained great northern beans, undrained tomatoes, cabbage, onion, garlic, basil, oregano and pepper.

Bring to a boil.

Add spaghetti, zucchini, and green beans to the soup mixture and return to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes, until vegetables and pasta are done.

Season with salt, to taste. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Note: You can use fresh green beans if you cook them for a little while before adding them to the soup mixture.

One of my very first "Over a Cup of Coffee" columns featured "Cabbage Soup." It's so good that the recipe is worth repeating.

The ingredients are:

1 pound ground beef

3 slices bacon (cut up)

1 small onion (chopped fine)

1/2 cup sliced celery

1 cup cooked pinto beans (I've also used great northern beans)

3 cups finely-chopped cabbage

2 cups canned tomatoes (with juice)

1 small can green chiles.

Brown the ground beef and drain well. Set it aside, then fry the bacon until done but not crisp. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of fat. Saute the onion in the fat until it's limp. (I like to do all of this in the soup pot to save washing dishes.)

Put all of the ingredients in the soup pot with 1 1/2 cups water (I usually end up adding more). Simmer slowly for 1 1/2 hours. Adjust seasonings to taste.

I like to add some beef bouillon cubes to the cabbage soup for a richer taste.

Please send you recipes to me at Box 415, Craig 81626 or call me at 824-8809.

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