Thursday, August 13, 2009

DF12: Ground Beef Minestrone

After the disaster wtih the chickpeas and the cauliflower, it was a relief to cook something I knew everyone would love: Ground Beef Minestrone. It is one of my old standbys. When I pulled the recipe out of my binder, I saw the date: this recipe came from the Oct. 1990 issue of Gourmet Magazine! I've made a few minor alterations over the years.

Last week, we made the "plain" version of bean soup, Minestra. Today, we're making the fancier "big" bean soup, Minestrone. It calls for prosciutto, and uses a mixture of celery, carrot and onion, along with red wine, to add a real punch of flavor to this quick-cooking soup.

An accompaniment of gremosalata is suggested for topping the soup, but both because I was in a hurry and also due to the Peccorino Romano in it, I didn't bother. However, it really does add a lot to the soup, with the grated lemon zest bringing out the best flavors in the parsley, cheese and soup.

We needed to pick up just a few things at the Teeter, and DC happened to be with me. So he got to pick out the bread to go with the soup. I pointed out some knot rolls, but DC had his eye on the "butterflake" rolls. They were nestled tenderly in their own little disposable muffin tin! They were amazingly good for supermarket bakery rolls-- they tasted like croissants in roll form. Soup and bread!! My favorite!

Ground Beef Minestrone

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. ground sirloin
2 oz. prosciutto, diced
1 lg. onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
1/2 t. dried rosemary
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 20 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 c. beef broth
1 c. dry red wine
1/3 c. small pasta, such as orzo

1/3 c. freshly grated Romano cheese
1/2 c. minced Italian parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T grated lemon zest

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl, and top the soup with the mixture.

For the Soup:
1. Spray a large soup pot with non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Add 2 T. extra virgin olive oil, and when the oil is hot, add the ground sirloin and the prosciutto. Cook until the beef is nicely browned and there is a nice brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.

Here is my prosciutto, diced and ready for the pan! I accidentally bought twice as much as I needed. (Oh well... )

2. Remove the browned beef and prosciutto from the pot with a slotted spoon, and set aside on a plate.

I like to brown the meat separately from the vegetables, because it never really gets a nice brown color duie to the moisture from the vegetables, if you saute them at the same time.

3. Add the mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot mixture) and crumble the rosemary into the pan, adding more oil as needed, and saute until the vegetables are tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

4. Return the browned meat to the pan, and add the tomatoes, and the red wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add beef broth, the drained and rinsed beans, and the pasta to the soup. Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I don't know what is wrong with my brain lately, but I keep forgetting to take pictures before serving the food! I guess we were hungry and intent on eating rather than documenting, LOL! If you've seen one bowl of minestrone you've seen them all?


  1. Oh yum...soup & bread are my favorite too! Add some cheese (mwa ha ha ha) and a bottle of wine and it's pure bliss. Your minestrone sounds great :D

  2. Great recipe! Sounds like the soup was excellent!


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