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bellaS.F.

prosciutto bone

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Has anyone used a prosciutto bone in a "knock your socks off" recipe?

Thanks for any recommendations.

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Well if you toss it in your stock whilst cooking a minestrone, it will only make it better. :smile:

Recipes...RECIPES!...We don't need no steenking recipes. :wink:

Nick

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Perhaps, I should have just asked for suggestions for a good minestrone recipe. I seem to try something different each time I cook it. It is usually pretty good, but I don't think that I have ever really quite gotten the taste that I'm after.

Anyone use a recipe they would recommend?

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That depends on whether you want winter minestrone or summer minestrone. The difference usually lies in the quantity and type of vegetables. Use of a ham (or prosciutto) bone will lend a certain quality to the soup. You might also consider using leftover rind from a wedge of parmagianno reggiano, to flavor the soup.

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We save the rind from Parm. I have a nice sized bag of them in the freezer. (We tend to go through chunks of Parm. rather easily.) I actually never made a summer minestrone, which surprises me to realize. Any suggestions for a recipe? And... if you know of a good and hearty winter soup recipe, longing to be made better by a prociutto bone, I would like to hear about that too. Thanks!

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by the by, brindisa in the borough market (london) had a stack of those italian ham leg bones (the whole thing from thigh down). flogging them for six quid (which included some meat still on) - a bargain if you're into ya soup

j


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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For a recipe for minestrone invernale, click here

Here's a recipe for summer minestrone:

1/2 c. + 3 T. OO (note from Soba: you can use EVOO if you want, its up to you. I don't. I feel that people overuse EVOO as much as other people overuse balsamic vinegar, but its a matter of personal preference, as in most things related to food)

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4" dice

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice

2 large ribs celery, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice (note from Soba: don't forget to chop the leaves and add them)

1/2 lb. firm potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice

2/3 lb. white cabbage, cored and cut into 1/4" dice

2 medium squash, trimmed and cut into 1/4" dice

1/2 lb. Swiss chard, leaves cut into narrow strips, stems cut across into slices

1 small bunch spinach, stemmed, well washed and cut across into narrow strips

6 medium cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and coarsely chopped

1 c. tomato base (recipe follows), coarsely chopped canned Italian plum tomatoes, or sterile-pack chopped tomatoes (note from Soba: I prefer Pomi if I can't get fresh tomatoes for the tomato base)

Rind from a wedge of Parmesan cheese (the wedge should be at least 1/2 lb.)

2 medium bunches basil, leaves only, well washed and dried

1 c. cooked orzo

2 T. kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

1. In a medium stockpot, cook 1/2 c. OO and the onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, celery (and leaves), and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and squash and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the greens, half of the garlic, the tomatoes (or tomato base), 5 c. water, and the cheese rind. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

2. Meanwhile, to make the pesto, in a food processor or blender, coarsely puree the basil. Add the remaining garlic and puree. With the machine running, slowly pour in the remaining oil. Continue to blend until smooth. (Note from Soba: Note that this pesto contains no cheese and pignoli. You may wish to use a mortar and pestle instead of the method I use here. This pesto is the same kind used in France, in soupe au pistou.)

3. Remove the cheese rind from the soup. Stir in the orzo. Heat through. Stir in 1/4 c. of the pesto. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The minestrone can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days, but do not add the orzo until reheating to serve. If the soup has been refrigerated, reheat it, adding a little water to avoid sticking. Pass the remaining pesto and grated Parmesan cheese at the table.

Serves 6.

----------

Tomato Base

2 medium onions, cut into 1/2" cubes

6 T. OO (note from Soba: Again, you can use EVOO if you want, although I don't)

5 lb. ripe, red tomatoes, cored and cut into 1" cubes

1. In a medium stockpot, cook the onions and OO over low heat, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

2. Raise the heat and stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and liquid.

3. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze.

Makes about 10 cups of tomato base. I use this for soups, stews, gumbos, or anything that calls for lightly crushed canned whole tomatoes.

SA

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SA, I really like the idea of the tomato base. While we are getting such good tomatoes, I am going to make a large batch of that and get it into the freezer. I want to try and get the summer minestrone done this weekend. I found some great baby squash varieties which should be nice in this.

Many thanks.

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