Dinner parties used to be formal affairs filled with fancy food and fine china. These days, they’re more focused on the company of others instead of an intricate and stuffy menu. Serving great tasting food in a comfortable setting allows you to be the host and enjoy yourself, too. The best party planners know that by choosing dishes you can make ahead before the party, you’ll spend more time with your guests and less time in the kitchen.
Minestrone is a perfect soup to serve at a dinner party. It’s easy to pull together in advance and it feeds a crowd. If you’ve never made minestrone at home, you’re missing out. The combination of a good minestrone depends on a variety of beans. Using Randall Mixed Beans for your minestrone beans makes your recipe easy as well as delicious. It gets it thicker consistency from the addition of pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese for a salty bite and croutons for crunch.
- 4 1/2 cups Randall Mixed Beans, drained
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 3/4 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 6-ounce can plum tomatoes, undrained and chopped
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups shredded fresh cabbage
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup small shell pasta, uncooked
- Freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
- In a large pot, heat olive oil. Stir in the onion, garlic, celery and zucchini.
- Sauté, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, pepper, rosemary, tomatoes, tomato juice and chicken stock.
- Simmer gently for 25 minutes, partially covered.
- Stir in the Randall Mixed Beans, cabbage, parsley and pasta.
- Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or just until the pasta is tender. Stir occasionally.
- Serve hot topped with croutons and grated parmesan or romano cheese.
- Makes 10-12 servings.