Minestrone soup is a simple Italian soup with humble beginnings. Being a vegetarian was a necessity, not a choice in the early Roman days. Some say the soup began by taking left over vegetables and broth to not waste any of the valuable ingredients they had on hand. I adore dishes like this, that come from simple of the earth ingredients but have the ability to just give you a warm hug from a bowl. Like most of my cooking I enjoy using ingredients from my family garden or from my neck of the woods. So southern minestrone was born, collard greens, black eyed peas, okra, grainger co tomatoes, are my star ingredients and yall this is a tasty one. Most of my ingredients came from hot summer nights of pickin, canning, or putting veggies in the freezer that had grown in the garden this past summer. But this recipe could certainly be changed to highlight some of your local favorites. So if you’re in the mood for a bowl of warm hugs, I hope you give this recipe a try…
1 med onion
2 large carrots
1 C. chopped mushrooms – cremini (try to buy anything other than the white button mushrooms)
2 cloves crushed garlic
4 C. collard greens
1 C. okra
1 (16oz) can black eyed peas
1 (32oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 C macaroni noodles
seasonings: 2 bay leaves, pinch red pepper flakes, dried thyme, salt and pepper
begin by chopping vegetables into a uniform dice. the closer they are in size the more even cooking time will be.
heat oil in large soup pot. once oil is hot add in vegetables (do not add okra & black eyed peas). sauté vegetables until tender.
once tender add in okra & black eyed peas, crushed tomatoes, & 4 cups water.
add in seasonings and let soup simmer for 2-3 hours.
about 10 minutes before serving add in macaroni noodles and cook until al dente.