Minestrone has always been one of my favorite soups, but when I did an online search for recipes I found so many variations it made my head spin. Suffice to say minestrone is one of those dishes intended for using up leftovers, and for that it works quite nicely. I can clean out my fridge and create a tasty dish at the same time. Best of all, it’s never the same twice.
As I created my own version of minestrone I noticed I used a few ingredients consistently. The rest was whatever I happened to have on hand, which is why I’m leaving plenty of leeway on my ingredients list.
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
1 cup sliced celery (optional)
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 or 2 carrots, sliced (optional)
1 small (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth or water
1 can garbanzo beans
Other leftover vegetables, such as corn, lima beans, chopped zucchini or cubed potatoes
3/4 cup small pasta, such as stars, small shells, or mini farfalle
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 package of spinach, fresh, frozen or canned
Heat oil and butter, if desired, in a stock pot and saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots or celery. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add tomato sauce and broth or water. Stir well. Add any remaining vegetables, garbanzo beans, seasonings and pasta. Heat to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for twenty minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another minute or two. Serve with bread, rolls or corn muffins.
There’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh baked cornbread made from scratch. This recipe came from a friend’s mother’s recipe box, and no doubt lots of other mothers and grandmothers used the same, or a similar recipe. It’s the perfect side for homemade soups, such as Rosie’s Split Pea Soup, and Chili con Carne.
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup soft shortening
1 cup milk
Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening until well blended. Beat milk and egg together in a small mixing bowl and mix with dry ingredients until just blended. Pour into a well-greased 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Bake in a hot (400• F) oven for 25 minutes or until done.
For a sweeter cornbread sift 1/4 cup sugar with the dry ingredients, and cut shortening to 1/4 cup. This batter is also good for baking corn muffins or corn sticks.
From the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook
There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day, and this recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is tasty and easy to make. Some dishes simply never go out of style, and this is one of them.
SPLIT PEA SOUP
8 oz. cooked cubed ham (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 ham bone
2 1/2 quarts ham stock
1 1/2 cups split green peas
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sliced onion
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
Place ham bone, stock, peas, seasonings and onion in large pan. Simmer 2 hours. Melt butter, add flour and blend. Add a small amount of soup stock and stir until smooth, then stir into soup to thicken slightly. Let cubes of ham heat in soup before serving. Makes 4 generous servings.
Modern adaptation: Ham hocks may be used in place of the ham bone. To make a ham stock boil the ham hocks or ham bones in water for approximately one to two hours. Chicken stock can be added to the ham stock or even used as a substitute for the ham stock. Cornstarch can also be used as a thickener instead of flour.
The things you will find after your kitchen has been remodeled. This time it was scrap of paper with my mother’s fruit cobbler recipe, written in her own handwriting. I’m so happy to have found it as I thought this was one recipe that was gone for good. Her fruit cobblers were amazing, and she often served them with breakfast. They’re also super easy to make and fabulous for dessert too.
Mom usually made hers with peaches, but other fruits, such as blackberries, blueberries or raspberries, would also work.
FRESH FRUIT COBBLER
4 to 6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced, OR
3 to 4 packages fresh raspberries, blueberries or blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of cinnamon, if desired
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix fresh fruit, sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Add cinnamon, if desired. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle on top.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Drop by spoonful over the fruit mixture. Bake for 30 to 25 minutes or until the topping is brown.