It’s been a beautiful fall here in Calgary, but I still can’t stop myself from craving hearty soups. Especially because of the abundance of amazing produce. I’ve also been pretty obsessed with my Traeger smoker this fall. It’s like having a smoky fireplace in your backyard that you can grill on.
Minestrone soup was one of my favourite soups I use to make when I had my soup company. The recipe I used for inspiration I found in Jamie Oliver’s Italy cookbook. I think I like it so much because he uses bacon/panchetta, which helps add that smoky quality. He also stresses the importance of caramelizing the tomato paste. It doesn’t sound significant, but it actually makes a huge difference. Sometimes minestrone soup can be too acidic and this step helps bring out the sugars and get rid of that tin taste canned products can have. It was a great recipe, but I would always fry up an egg to add on top for extra protein. This new recipe is a complete meal in a bowl.
If you don’t have a smoker, I would suggest roasting the tomatoes and cabbage in the oven until they become a bit charred. Not only will it add great flavour but it will carmelize the sugars in the cabbage and lend a nice sweetness to compliment the acid from the tomatoes.
This recipe makes 4-5L of soup.