The hardest part about this vegetable soup is lugging all the ingredients home and then peeling and chopping everything. But it’s worth it, and if you make a big enough batch, you will have increasingly delicious leftovers for a while. And don’t worry too much about the amounts, increase the recipe as you like, this is a very accommodating soup.
My wife will do this so as to do it right. I would screw it up. Bless her heart. As important as Michelle’s recipe is how you serve it: big bowls each set within them a thick slice of crusty country/farmer/sourdough bread. Then the minestrone’s broth and numerous constituents are ladled over the bread. Next the chunk and grater or bowl of grated Parmigiano is passed around. Now comes the drizzle of the best olive oil you can muster, preferably a Fairway unfiltered barrel oil like my gata-hurdes from Extremadura. A healthy slash of good oil is very important to the dish. And last, each diner tips a splash of his/her wine right from the glass to the minestrone. Dinner is served.
Steve’s Short Rib Minestrone
- 3 – 4 pounds of short ribs
- Large head of Savoy cabbage (or your favorite cabbage)
- Turnips (to equal 2+ cups when peeled and chopped)
- Carrots (to equal 2+ cups when peeled and chopped)
- Leeks (to equal 2+ cups when cleaned and chopped)
- Onion (to equal 2+ cups when chopped)
- Celery (to equal 2+ cups when chopped – use the leaves!)
- Potatoes (to equal 2+ cups when peeled and diced)
- Green beans, about 1 1/2 cups, cleaned and cut into thirds
- Small can of Italian tomatoes in puree
- Cranberry beans, canned and added at the end or soaked and added at the start
Give short ribs a quick rinse and 3 minute simmer in water then drain. Put your short ribs in a clean pot, fill with cold water and bring to a boil then let them simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes or so, skimming all the particulates that floats to the top off with a little strainer.
I like to chop all my ingredients in about the same size and shape; half-inch cubes are perfect.
Add all the ingredients slowly, they may not all fit in right away but as they cook down you can sneak more in. Start with the cabbage, though, as the cabbage and the potatoes will melt away and thicken the soup in a really luscious way. You can add more water as you go along, too, if necessary. But this soup is more like a stew so add any water you need a half cup at a time.
Give it a stir every so often. Salt and pepper to taste.
Test a short rib after the soup has been on for a couple of hours. If it is falling off the bone, fish out all the short ribs, try not to burn your fingers, and slide the meat off the bone. Chop it up. Return it to the soup. (If it isn’t falling off the bone yet, give it another half hour to an hour.)