I recently had the opportunity to sharpen my skills at an abridged Basic Knife Skills class at the very cool and new San Francisco Cooking School on Van Ness. We diced, chopped, julienned vegetables all the while learning some very cool skills that I thought I already knew, but actually not entirely... So, now I feel much more in control of the many deadly sharp blades in the kitchen, and I brought home the basics to make a vegetable minestrone.
Recipe from the San Francisco Cooking School
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups diced onion
2 medium carrots, cut in ½-inch dice
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, finely sliced
2 stalks celery, cut in ½-inch pieces
Coarse salt and fresh pepper to taste
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in ½-inch dice
6 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 ½ cups Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups zucchini, cut in ½-inch dice
1 (14 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
|We chopped all these vegetables in class and brought everything home in convenient plastic tubs so we could make the super easy recipe for soup at home.|
2 cups gently packed basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions, carrots, leeks and celery with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are lightly browned and begin to soften, 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes more.
Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Add the cabbage, zucchini and beans. Cook until cabbage and zucchini are just tender with a bit of a bite, about 6 minutes more.
While the soup is cooking, make the pesto. Using your knife, finely chop the basil, garlic, and pine nuts together. Place in a small bowl and add the oil until the mixture is shiny and moist. Stir in the cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the soup with a drizzle of the fresh pesto over the top. Serves 6. It is delicious and so easy!