Classic ministrone soup, is a rich, hearty broth loaded with vegetables and meat, and the perfect for cozying up with during the cold days of winter.
You guys, I have a little story to tell you about this soup, and the wonderful man who makes it for me. It is my father-in-law.
As you may know from following me, I have four children. Which to some, seems like a lot. I will admit, most days it feels closer to a million. But one thing I have not shared a lot about is how challenging my pregnancies can be.
Now, I do not want to make claims that I have harder pregnancies than others, as I know people have it far worse than I, and I have never been hospitalized during a pregnancy, but I will say that for several months I am sick, sick, sick. I can’t keep a thing down. I hate life. And food sounds awful.
Food sounding awful is its own special kind of torture for me, because as a foodie at heart, it is like the worst deprivation I can come up with (besides air and other essentials).
What does any of this have to do with soup? Well, while I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, I had an intense craving for this soup. My in-laws make it almost every year for Christmas Eve, and I love it. My son was due in January, so I knew I would be getting this soup on Christmas Eve, which was not too far off, I think it was October. I had not been able to eat much the whole month, and was feeling absolutely lousy. My husband was working long holiday hours, and I was trying to function with two little ones at home, while working.
I remember getting my kids off to preschool, and coming home and just sitting on the floor in my living room and crying because I felt so terrible, and all I wanted was some ministrone soup. But I had none of the ingredients. It was cold out. I was exhausted. And basically, while my life was pretty great, I was having a total pity party.
I was just wallowing in it, laying on the floor when my phone buzzed. I looked at it, and honestly, didn’t even want to answer. I didn’t want to pretend I was fine. And I didn’t want to worry anyone, but I was miserable. It has been like 5-6 solid months of feeling like garbage and I was tired of it.
I ended up picking up, and it was the saint of a man I call my father-in-law. He said he was thinking about me, and asked if there was anything he could do for me. He had asked me this many times before, but see, I am the kind of person that doesn’t like asking for favors. I am independent, and hate admitting when I need help. I have been working on it, and this past year was a humbling one where I needed tons of help. But at the time, help was not really something I even knew how to ask for. But I did. I said, “Yes, could you make me some ministrone soup?”
I think he was confused at first, but I repeated my wish, and he said he would. A couple hours later he came to my door with a pot of simmering soup, a smile, and an offer to take the other two kids off my hands so I could get some rest. I still get teary every time I think of that tender mercy he offered me in a time when I needed it badly, and didn’t know how to ask.
And so, this soup holds a very special place in my heart, not only because it tastes wonderful, and is a recipe that is steeped in tradition for my husband and his family, but because I can’t eat it without getting a little weepy and incredibly grateful for the people in my life.
Now, how is that for some pressure on this soup? I hope you enjoy it!
A classic hearty ministrone soup loaded with veggies
20 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
50 minTotal Time
- 1 1/2 pounds cubed stew meat
- 8 cups water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic (fresh)
- 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes (whatever variety is ripe)
- 2 cups Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup sliced zucchini
- 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
- 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot, combine beef, water, and salt. (Note: Searing beef before hand will help it stay tender, but this is optional).
- Cover and cook over medium heat until it comes to a full boil.
- Reduce heat to low and continue cooking until beef is fork tender.
- In a 10 inch skillet combine onions, carrots, celery, butter, parsley, and garlic. and cook until veggies are crispy tender.
- Add veggies to beef mixture, along with all the remaining ingredients, except the kidney beans.
- Cook over low heat until veggies are tender.
- Stir in kidney beans, taste, season to preference.
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