feasting at home: Peruvian Minestrone Soup

October 29, 2013

Peruvian Minestrone Soup

Peruvian Minestrone Soup

The first time I tried this soup, it was love at first bite. Or slurp. It was surprising and delicious -unlike any other soup I had ever had before. The base, made from a rich beef broth blended with basil and spinach gives the soup its unforgettable flavor and beautiful emerald color. This is my Peruvian friend, Sara's recipe - who has been sharing Peruvian inspired dishes with her very fortunate friends and family- and also on her blog, Peruvian Chick.  Passionate about all things Peruvian, Sara calls herself a "Peruvian Ambassador" introducing people to Peruvian cuisine, and bringing more awareness to Peruvian ingredients and culture. The recipes she shares on her blog are fresh,  delicious and healthy. 



A few days ago,  I met with Sara in her kitchen as she shared all the steps. It's surprisingly simple and easy to make- and can be made in less than 30 minutes.

As I write this, I am filled with gratitude when I think about the ways Sara has given to our group of friends. Some people just have generous souls, naturally. It recently dawned on me that it was Sara who first suggested the idea of starting a recipe blog.  At the time, I have to admit, I really didn't know what a blog was. We still laugh about it. It's amazing to think how this little seed she planted in my head, was what started me down this path- one where I could pick up my camera again, practice writing and create in the kitchen. So unexpectedly, this weekly practice has brought much joy into my life. And I feel very grateful to her for this. And also for sharing her amazing, over-the-top, delicious soup -which you absolutely need to try.


The first step in making Sara's Peruvian Minestrone Soup, is prepping the vegetables and meat. 
This is fast, easy work.


Peas, Carrots, flank steak, corn, potatoes, spinach, basil and garlic.


Once the ingredients are prepped, the soup comes together quickly.


Bring a large pot of beef stock and water to a boil.


Saute rough-chopped garlic in a large saute pan with olive oil -until fragrant and golden.


Add spinach, wilt.
Add basil, wilt.



Blend the spinach mixture with one cup beef stock and queso fresco cheese in a blender until smooth.




This is what gives the soup its amazing flavor and color.



Once the beef stock boils, add the flank steak and bring to a boil again. Skim if necessary. Add the veggies and cook for few more minutes, then add the pasta.



If you are going gluten free, try adding quinoa instead of pasta. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, turn the heat off and stir in the spinach-basil puree and the remaining diced queso fresco cheese. And that's it, it's done! 



Sara pours the soup into a traditional Peruvian clay pot and serves it from there.












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Peruvian Minestrone Soup
A healthy Peruvian Soup with a flavorful beef and basil base with veggies.

Ingredients:
12 C Flavorful Beef Stock
6 C water
1 T olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, big chopped
3/4 C corn kernels
3/4 C peas
3/4 C carrots- small diced
3 yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 lbs flank steak cut into small ¾ inch cubes
1 lb fresh spinach leaves
4 oz (1 ½ Cups packed) basil leaves
10 oz queso fresco cheese- diced into small ½ inch cubes -divided
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
8 oz Penne Rigata (or sub gluten free pasta or quinoa)

Instructions:
1. Heat beef stock and water in an extra large pot over high heat, bring to a boil. 


2. At the same time, saute garlic in a big skillet with 1 T olive oil, over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Lower the heat and add spinach, stirring until wilted. Add basil, and stir until wilted.

3.Place spinach/basil mixture in a blender with one third of the queso fresco cheese and 1 cup stock/water mixture. Add salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

4. When stock comes to a boil, add beef. Bring to a boil again and add peas, carrots, potatoes, corn. Simmer 5 minutes and add pasta. Cook 7 minutes or until cooked until al dente. Turn off stove. Pour in the spinach mixture and stir. Add the remaining cheese and serve.

Details
Prep time: 12 mins  Cook time:20 mins  Total time: 4Yield: 5 Quarts