Cook’s Recipe: Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup is a lot like a well executed campaign. It’s fun, flavorful and never the same thing twice. You never know how you’re going to get to the end, but the end should always be satisfying – whether in a bowl of soup or facing off against a lich in some catacomb.

In many ways, Minestrone soup is much like the fabled Stone Soup – only with less chances of cracking a tooth. So while this is a recipe in the technical sense, this is one recipe that calls for trying new things and different ingredients.

When most adventurers think of minestrone soup, the ideas of beans in a tomato broth immediately conjure in the mind but the rest varies from quest to quest and season to season.

Minestrone Soup
Vegetarian, makes enough for four large bowls

Ingredients
2 cups of tomatoes, evenly diced
1/2 cup of tomato paste
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup of carrot, diced
2-4 stalks of celery including the leaves, diced
1 cup of arroz pasta
1 cup of beans (almost any kind will do)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment
A large pot
A mixing spoon
Cutting board and knife to dice

Directions
Once all the ingredients are diced, heat the oil in the bottom of the pot and add in the onions and celery (except the leaves). Cook over a medium heat until the onions begin to turn transparent, then add the carrots and saute for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add in the vegetable stock, tomatoes and tomato paste along with the spices. Allow the carrots to stew until they become al dente. Then mix in the arroz pasta and beans, bringing the soup to a simmer. Allow it to cook until the arroz is done. Finish with salt and pepper. Serve warm garnished with Parmesan cheese and with bread.

Other vegetables or meats can easily be added like corn, peas or sausage. There is no wrong way to make this soup (well, there are so try to use good judgment!).