If you have lived in the Detroit area you would have heard of Buddy’s Pizza. Buddy’s Pizza is a “Detroit original”. It has been around since 1946 and are known for their square pizzas. I was first exposed to Buddy’s Pizza when I moved to the area for the summer to do an internship in college. I was working in an office complex in Farmington Hills, Michigan and we shared a parking lot with Buddy’s. My co-workers would run over and grab lunch since it was so close to us. Pizza is a pretty heavy lunch and not something I can’t do often, especially their thick version (which is DELISH!) so I would often grab their minestrone soup. Their minestrone soup was different than any kind I had ever had.
Usually minestrone is a broth based soup with lots of vegetables in it and is topped with parmesan cheese The minestrone at Buddy’s is different however, it is actually really thick. I always loved the minestrone at Buddy’s since I love thick soups and stews. Maybe it’s because I am from the north so thick, hearty soups and stews are comfort food. It’s actually a debate in my house when I make soup. My husband must get sick of it because I often get the request “can you make something brothy?”.
I have played around with this soup trying to replicate the flavors. While there are a few recipes online, nothing has really ever came close. Finally I have whipped up a pretty decent knock off in my mind. This soup is perfect because it’s loaded with vegetables which is what I like. The Buddy’s version has elbow pasta in it but lately I just leave it out since my husband is “carb-cycling” and watching his intake. You don’t even know it’s missing because it’s so thick. However if you want the full carb load definitely keep the pasta in it!
To make the soup have an extra layer of flavor I try to use one key ingredient when I can find it – paremsan cheese rinds. If you look near the fresh parm they often will cut off the edges and sell them. Since they just cut the thin end off of the cheese they do not cost as much and in addition add a great nutty flavor to soups and sauces.
For you Detroiters that don’t want to order take out, or have moved away or even if you don’t know what Buddy’s Pizza is and just want a great recipe for some “comfort” soup that is actually good for you – this recipe is for you!
- 1 12 oz can kidney beans, drained
- 1 12 oz can cannellini beans, drained
- 4-6 c chicken broth
- 6-8 stalks of celery thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 zucchini diced
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 russet potatoes peeled, small dice
- 4 carrots diced or grated
- 4-6 garlic cloves minced
- 2-3 c fresh baby spinach, rough chop
- 1.5 TBS dried oregano
- 1.5 TBS dried basil
- 2 TBS tomato paste
- 1 parmesan cheese rind
- 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
- Optional: 1.5 c elbow macaroni noodles or any other small pasta
- In a large soup pot sauté celery, onion, carrots and garlic in a few TBS of olive oil over medium heat until tender 10-12 minutes. Turn heat up to medium high and add zucchini, potatoes, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, tomato paste, parmesan cheese rind, salt and pepper to taste, beans and 4 cups of your stock. If vegetables are not covered with liquid add enough to cover your veggies. Let soup come to a gentle boil. If you are using pasta at this point add the pasta in. Turn heat down to medium and let everything cook and merry together for 20-25 minutes or until your potatoes are fork tender and pasta is cooked. Add in the spinach and let wilt down and cook for another 2-3 minutes. If you want to thicken up the soup you can pulse a few times with an immersion blender or remove a few cups of soup and blend in a blender and add back to the soup (just be sure to remove the parmesan rind because that will not grind well!). Top with parmesan cheese for garnish.