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Minestrone

minestroneMakes 8 servings.

2 lbs. chicken on the bone
8 carrots
8 stalks of celery
2 yellow onions
2 stems and leaves of fresh Thyme
10 stems Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns, whole

2 Tbs. Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 Tbs. fresh chopped oregano or1 tsp dried
2 – 14 oz cans of beans (kidney, white or garbanzo)
½ butternut squash cubed (optional)
½ lbs pasta shells
¼ cup olive oil
2-3 cups of fresh spinach (optional)
Chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese to taste (optional)

Stock

  • Add chicken and half the total carrots, celery and onion (roughly chopped) to a stock pot, cover with cold water. Add thyme, parsley stems, bay leaves, peppercorns to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for about an hour.
  • Remove the chicken and let it cool to the touch. Pick all of the meat off of the bones, chop and save for later. Add the bones back to the stock pot and continue cooking for another 2 hours.
  • When done cooking, strain the stock through a fine colander reserving all the liquid or stock and discarding all of the other ingredients.

Soup

  • Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil, and then add garlic and remaining diced onions, carrot and celery. Sweat on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, stock, and oregano to pot. Cook for 45 minutes.
  • Add drained beans, squash and pasta. Cook another 20 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Just before serving add olive oil, spinach, chicken, bacon and chopped basil, parsley and oregano leaves.
  • After serving, top with a little parmesan cheese 

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