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    from "Good & Garlicky, Thick & Hearty, Soul-Satisfying, More-Than-Minestrone Italian Soup Cookbook" by Joe Famularo

    The Po Valley in southern Lombardy produces top-quality rice, a staple throughout the region. There, minestrone is made in every restaurant and home, and this particular version, which includes rice, is famous even outside of the region. To emphasize the hearty flavor, it is often served at room temperature, and I suggest you try it that way, too. Accompany the minestrone with fresh garlic bread.

    Serves 6 to 8

    1/2 cup dried red kidney beans or 1 1/2 cups rinsed and drained canned red kidney beans
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    6 slices bacon, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    2 large cloves garlic, minced
    1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh, tomatoes, or 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
    1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
    10 cups water
    2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
    2 medium ribs celery with leaves, thinly sliced
    2 cups thinly shredded savoy cabbage
    2 small zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
    1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
    1 cup rice, preferably Arborio
    3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

    Print recipe

    1. If using dried beans, pick over, discarding any stones. Soak the beans overnight in cool water to cover by 2 inches. Drain and set aside.
    2. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and onion and sauté until the bacon is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic turns light brown, about 2 minutes.
    3. Add the soaked dried beans, if using, with the tomatoes, parsley, basil, and water. If you are using canned beans, add them to the soup in step 4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very slow but steady simmer. Cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours, uncovering to stir every 20 or 30 minutes.
    4. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, cabbage, and the canned beans, if using, and cook, covered, 30 minutes more.
    5. Add the zucchini, cauliflower, rice, and fresh peas and cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 minutes. If you are using frozen peas, do not add them until the last 5 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper.
    6. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to mellow, about 15 minutes. Stir in half of the grated cheese, then ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve, passing the remaining cheese.

    Product nutrition and information
     Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
      Goya Red Kidney Beans - $1.29/ea
      Applegate Farms Organic Uncured Hickory Smoked Sunday Bacon - $6.99/ea
      White Onion, Large - $1.49/lb
     Farm Fresh, Lg
      Del Monte Fresh Cut Diced Tomatoes - $1.69/ea
      Italian Parsley - $1.99/ea
     Farm Fresh
      Russet Potato, Medium - $0.99/lb
     Farm Fresh, Med
      Cal-Organic Organic Carrots, Bag - $1.99/ea Save! 2 for $3.00
     1 lb
      Celery, Medium - $2.99/ea Save! 2 for $5.00
     Farm Fresh, Med
      Savoy Cabbage - $1.29/lb
     Farm Fresh
      Green Zucchini, Medium - $1.99/lb
     Farm Fresh, Med

    FreshDirect White Cauliflower Florets - $5.99/ea
     16oz, 16oz
      Birds Eye Green Peas - $1.99/ea
     10oz box
    Parmigiano-Reggiano, Aged 2 Years - $17.99/lb
      Roland Arborio Rice - $4.99/ea
    You May Already Have
      O-Live & Co. Extra-Virgin Premium Olive Oil - $8.99/ea
      Garlic - $3.99/lb
     Farm Fresh, Med
      FreshDirect Dried Basil - $3.59/ea
      Morton's Regular Salt - $0.99/ea
      FreshDirect Tellicherry Pepper, Ground - $3.79/ea
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