Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Baby, You Hit A Home Run!"

The words every woman wants to hear after she has served her husband dinner.   And yes, I heard these words after serving up the fabulous wilted spinach salad I posted about on Friday.  

And I am quite the smarty pants too.  I found another recipe from the Nourished Kitchen website that I really wanted to try too.  It turns out that the Winter Minestrone Soup required chicken broth and bacon grease.  Well, how do you like that!  I made the wilted spinach salad and boiled my chicken for the salad.  Broth done.  Then I cooked a few extra pieces of bacon and set aside the extra grease for the soup I'm making on Sunday.  Bacon grease done.  Although, I do have to say that I can't believe I'm cooking with bacon grease.

So, my friends, here is the other recipe from Nourished Kitchen and you too can have back to back feasts!

Ingredients for Winter Minestrone
1 cup dried cannellini beans, rinsed and picked over
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup dried brown rice macaroni noodles (see note)
¼ cup lard, bacon fat or ghee (see sources)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 quarts homemade roast chicken stock or homemade beef stock
1 cup pureed or crushed tomatoes
1 bunch Swiss chard, de-veined and sliced into 1/2 –inch strips
Unrefined sea salt to taste
Unrefined extra virgin olive oil, Italian flat leaf parsley and parmesan cheese to serve

Method for Winter Minestrone
The day before you plan to serve the soup, begin the soup by completely submerging cannellini beans in very warm water combined with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar.
Cover the beans, water and vinegar and place them in a warm spot in your kitchen to soak for approximately twenty-four hours.
After the beans have soaked for one day, drain them, rinse them and boil them in water until they’re tender and soft. After they’re thoroughly cooked and tender, about 60 to 90 minutes, remove them from heat drain them, rinse them and set aside.
Boil the brown rice pasta until tender, but somewhat firm. Set aside to reserve.
Heat lard, bacon fat or ghee in a heavy-bottomed pot over a medium-high flame until melted and sizzling.
Add chopped onion and fry until fragrant and translucent.
Add minced garlic, chopped carrots, chopped celery and cubed butternut squash frying with the onion until fragrant.
Stir the dried basil and oregano into the mixture of vegetables.
Pour two quarts homemade stock into the pot, taking care to scrape the pot with a metal spatula to dislodge any flavorful bits of vegetables that may be stuck to its bottom.
Stir in crushed or pureed tomatoes. In summertime, my family roasts and freezes cases of heirloom tomatoes and I suggest you do the same. Freezing retains more nutrients than canning, and avoids the risks associated with BPA, a plasticizer with endocrine-disrupting effects.
Simmer the broth, pureed tomatoes and vegetables together for thirty minutes or so.
Remove the minestrone soup from heat, stir in the cooked cannellini beans, cooked pasta and sliced Swiss chard.
Generously season the soup with unrefined sea salt to taste.
Cover the minestrone and allow it to sit, removed from heat, for approximately five to ten minutes which allows the flavors to meld and the Swiss chard to wilt slightly.
Serve with chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, unrefined extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese.


I made a few changes.  I used an organic quinoa/corn elbow pasta instead of the rice pasta.  I think rice pasta can get gooey fast.  I didn't want to take a chance.  I also sauteed my swiss chard.  I was hesitant to cook it in the soup broth as I had read this about swiss chard: "Chard is best boiled as the acid is pulled out into the water leaving behind a sweeter tasting chard."  The site mentioned to discard the water used in boiling as it has a high acid content.  I could have boiled it but I didn't have a clean pot.  :)

YIELD: Approximately 8 to 12 servings
TIME: 24 hours (soaking) plus 2 hours (preparation and cooking time)
NOTES: Brown rice is very low in phytic acid, an antinutrient which binds up minerals preventing their full absorption which is why I’ve included brown rice pasta in this recipe. For this reason, do not substitute whole wheat pasta unless you prepare it yourself using a sprouted flour or a recipe for sourdough noodles. I encourage you to cook the beans separately and add them to the soup later because doing so improves the flavor of the soup.

I like a LOT of cheese!

Bon Appetit!


  1. looks amazing!!! I really want to try your salad!

  2. It was so yummy! I made it twice in 3 days! I'd make it again today if I had all of the ingredients!