Thursday, October 15, 2009

Minestrone with Endive and Pepperoni

I was determined to work a soup into the menu this week, but had a hard time narrowing it down to a recipe... that is, until Jeff came by, saw one of the options had pepperoni and declared it the winner. I guess I should have just asked for his input to begin with because he definitely picked a winner in this Minestrone with Endive and Pepperoni.

Stirring a bit of chopped red bell pepper, or any sweet bell color you like, around in our Dutch oven was where I turned attention first to start bringing this soup to life. Broth, of the beefy variety, was poured in when the peppers had softened, with dried oregano and thyme added for good measure. When the broth had come up to a rapid bubble, elbow pasta was stirred in (I used this multi-grain pasta for those wondering) and left to cook until it was a few minutes short of actually being done.

Besides being a soup, what else attracted me to this was how fast it could be thrown together, especially since it called for using frozen mixed soup vegetables - we found a bag that had potatoes, carrots, celery and onion. Of course, one could certainly use fresh vegetables with a little extra work - just add the carrots, celery and onion as you normally would in the beginning. Then, either par-boil the potatoes separately and add them when called for, or toss them into the broth to cook before you add the pasta. The original recipe also called for frozen baby lima beans, but we swapped in edamame instead as we already had some in the freezer.

When the vegetables had almost cooked through, fire-roasted diced tomatoes were brought into play, along with diced pepperoni (Jeff did a little cheer as they went in!) and coarsely chopped endive for a little green boost. Chard would also work well here, just be sure to pull away the tougher stems. Just before serving, give the soup a quick taste - you'll most likely want to hold off on adding more salt (more on that in a second), but plenty of fresh ground black pepper is definitely appropriate.

With the broth and pepperoni seasoning this minestrone with a salty edge, right before we dug in, we took a knob from our block of Parmesan cheese and showered each bowl with just enough to compliment (hence why we held back on adding even more salt.). With a decent ratio of broth to vegetables and pasta, we found this to be very filling and it definitely warmed our stomachs up on this chilly fall evening. Pepperoni isn't what one might necessarily expect to find in this type of dish (at least I didn't think so), but it brought a mild spice that we both thought perked up the soup.


  1. Sounds like a delicious one. Never had a soup with pepperoni. My fav is still your lasagna soup. It is often requested in the house.

  2. Helene - I love that soup too!