The best tip I can offer for the best results for this wonderful soup is the care you take in the preparation stage of this concoction!
This recipe (optionally) calls for cooked Seashell Pasta. This is my girlfriend’s favorite version, as of 2003, and every year since then…and counting!
3 Tbsp’s. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 White Onions, diced into 1/2″ pieces
2 Cups Celery Ribs, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
3 Carrots, cored and sliced into 1/2″ pieces
2 Cups Chicken Stock
3 Cups Water
1 29 Oz. Can Tomato Sauce
1/4 Cup Merlot
1 15 Oz. Can Kidney Beans, drained, then rinsed
1/3 Lb. Green Beans, fresh, tips trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Zucchini, peeled, quartered and sliced into 1/2″ pieces
2 Ears Fresh Corn, only the kernels cut from the cobs (or 8 Oz. frozen kernels)
2 Tbsp’s. Oregano, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp’s. Basil Leaves, fresh, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp’s. Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Seashell Pasta, cooked al dente (Optional)
1. In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of oil, and the garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.
2. Add the onions to the pot. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add the celery, and carrots to the pot. Saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add the chicken stock, water, and tomato sauce to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer.
5. Add the Merlot, kidney beans, green beans, zucchini, oregano, and basil to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer (again), stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.
6. Add the corn kernels to the soup and stir to incorporate. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
7. In serving bowls, add 2 tablespoons of the pasta. Ladle the soup over the pasta, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and drizzle with oil.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes