Italian Recipes: Minestrone Parmesan [9-9-15]

Italian Recipes: Minestrone Parmesan


 1/4 cup olive oil
 1 cup minced onion
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
 3 cups finely diced smoked ham
 4 quarts beef broth, boiling
 1 cup diced fresh or canned tomatoes
 1 cup diced carrots
 1 cup diced celery
 1/2 cup corn
 1 cup diced raw white potatoes
 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
 1 cup uncooked small pasta (macaroni or smaller)
 2 cups shredded fresh spinach
 Freshly ground pepper, to taste
 Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste


Heat oil in a large stockpot and saut? onions, garlic, cilantro and smoked ham until onions are soft.  Add boiling beef broth and simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.  Add tomatoes, carrots, celery, corn, potatoes and garbanzo beans all at once.  Cover and barely simmer until vegetables are tender.  Add pasta and spinach and cook until pasta is al dente.  Season with pepper.  Stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

Note:  This hefty soup is best prepared a day ahead and reheated to serve.  Make 2 batches and freeze the extra.

Serves 10 TO 12

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