Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter Minestrone - Sunset International Vegetarian Cook Book - Better than Olive Garden

This recipe and I go way back.  This recipe is from the Sunset International Vegetarian Cook Book that my grandmother gave me as a  gift when I was a budding teenage cook.  I have made this recipe since then, but now it makes me think of lunches last winter with my sweet friend Sue .  (I am so blessed to have such a sweet friend.)

Don't let all of the steps scare you off, it's easy.  Gather your ingredients ahead of time and you can get your kitchen clean while it cooks.  

Winter Minestrone

3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp dry Basil
1/2 tsp each dry rosemary, oregano leaves, and thyme leaves
1/4 cup pearl barley
2 medium thin-skinned potatoes, diced
2 large carrots, diced
8 cups instant vegetable stock (or if you are not a vegetarian use chicken stock)
1 large turnip, peeled and diced (or more potato if you don't feel like a trip to the store)
1 15 oz can red kidney beans or cannelloni beans
2/3 cup small shell macaroni or elbow
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese

Heat oil in 5 quart kettle over medium heat; add onion, celery, garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano, and thyme; cook stirring, until onion is soft.  Add barley, potatoes, carrots, and stock and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add turnip.  Cover and continue simmering for 20 more minutes.
Mix in beans and their liquid, macaroni, and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat; and boil gently until macaroni is tender (about 15 minutes).  Then add cabbage and cook until tender-crisp (about 5 more minutes).
Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pass the cheese to sprinkle over individual bowls.  Makes 12 to 14 cups.


  1. Your family picture is fabulous and adds so much to your blog. LOVE IT!

  2. Looks so warm and delicious! Love the family picture too!

  3. A great recipe I have used for years - I was happy to find it on your blog. One small correction - the list of ingredients is missing an item: 1 stalk of celery, chopped. The instructions mention the celery in the first step, but it is missing from the list.