*Photos Updated November 2012*
Inspiration: After receiving some beef soup bones in our CSA share, we made our first batch of homemade beef stock and needed a good use for it. Giada’s recipes never disappoint!
What we Loved: This was such a heartwarming Italian style soup with a myriad of great flavors. The rustic tomato, savory beef, nutty Parmesan, and creamy cannelini bean flavors all paired so well together. I tend to use cannelini beans with poultry or with lighter meals, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well they stood up to the stronger flavors in this soup and provided a creamy, nutty taste that was a great addition. This soup is really a wonderful comfort food meal for a cold day. It’s almost like a soup version of spaghetti and meatballs. That’s not exactly the right comparison, of course, but I crave a meal like spaghetti and meatballs when I want all of those Italian comfort food elements like rich tomato sauce and heaps of Parmesan cheese. All of those great elements are right here in this soup.
Helpful Hints: I chose this recipe to use my beef stock, but I should have known that the beef stock itself would be hidden by the strong flavors of the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Not that this was a bad thing, because the soup was perfect, but if you’re looking for a recipe to showcase the flavor of the stock, something like a vegetable beef soup would fit the bill more precisely.
Beef and Cannellini Bean Minestrone
Source: Giada De Laurentiis
I doubled the recipe and made a few slight adjustments to the ingredients. Here’s the recipe as I made it.
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 lb ground beef
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups beef stock
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 dried bay leaves
Parmesan cheese, for garnish
1. Add the butter to a stock pot, and heat over medium heat. Stir in the onions and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are softened.
2. Increase the heat to medium high. Crumble the beef into the pot, and cook until the beef is browned and cooked through.
3. Mix in the garlic, cooking for an additional 30 seconds.
4. Mix in the tomato paste.
5. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, allowing the liquids to reduce and the soup to thicken.
6. Remove the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with Parmesan.