I love soup, but I don't make it very often. Valerie asked me this winter to make more soups, and I immediately thought of this minestrone recipe. Uncle Joe's Minestrone. Is he my Uncle Joe? No. But, he has concocted a delicious minestrone, nonetheless.
The recipe comes from the book The Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Lo Pinto. I was not able to locate the book within the family, but I did find it on amazon.com, so I ordered it. It is no longer in print, so I purchased a used copy. It's fragile, but it's in pretty good shape.
Back to the minestrone, it is very simple to prepare, and it is one of the better soups I have ever made. I didn't have fresh peas, so I used frozen and the results were fine. I also used one quart of chicken stock and two quarts of water, to add some extra flavor. Otherwise, I followed the recipe how it is written.
I was a bit skeptical about both noodles and potatoes in the soup, but it really works. It is very rich, warming and comforting. Perfect for a cool evening at home, served with some crusty bread.
This recipe makes a lot minestrone. I would recommend making as much as you are planning to eat in one sitting because the noodles end up pretty mushy and bloated after being in the broth for a while. The flavor is still good, but it is definitely best served at soon as the noodles are al dente.
Minestrone Di Zio Giuseppe (Uncle Joe's Minestrone)
Serves 6 to 8
1 pound fresh peas
1 cup diced celery
2 diced carrots
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup canned tomatoes
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 pound vermicelli
3 quarts water
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
3 diced potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean all vegetables. In saucepan, saute onions and potatoes in hot olive oil about 10 minutes or until medium brown. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper; cover; cook slowly about 15 minutes.
In separate pot, bring 3 quarts water to boiling. Add celery, peas, and carrots; cover; cook about 15 minutes or until tender. Add all sauteed vegetables and cook about 10 minutes; add vermicelli and cook 10 more minutes.
Serve very hot with grated Romano cheese.