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Cooking with Our Curator

It’s almost Mother’s Day. When Emily Falke, our Deputy Director & Curator, isn’t designing, installing, and hanging our captivating exhibits, she’s writing cookbooks and winning competitions (like the 2019 Strawberry Festival Recipe Contest). A mother and grandmother herself, you can taste Emily’s passion for gourmet cooking in her Mom’s Minestrone recipe. Use your pantry staples and let us know what you think.

Mom’s Minestrone

1 baguette, buttered and toasted
1/4 pound salt pork, diced (omit if vegetarian/vegan)
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
28 ounce can whole tomatoes, plus juice
15 ounce can refried beans
2  14-15 ounce cans beef or vegetable broth
6 ounces red wine
1 small head red cabbage, sliced thin
2 zucchini, sliced in rounds
1 bunch fresh spinach stemmed, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry small pasta, shells or elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (omit if vegetarian/vegan – add vegan substitute)Steps
-To make soup, in a large skillet fry salt pork until brown and crisp.  (Use butter or olive oil if vegetarian/vegan)
-Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and parsley. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes until onion and garlic are just translucent.
-Add tomatoes with juice, refried beans, broth, wine, salt and pepper and simmer for two hours.
-Just before serving, add dry pasta to soup and cook for about 6-8 minutes. Add zucchini and cabbage to soup 4 minutes before serving. -Add spinach 2 minutes before serving; so barely wilted.
-Ladle into soup bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
-Serve with

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a toasted buttered baguette.

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