I can't for the life of me figure out why I haven't yet posted this soup. It's honestly one of the classics and one I'm very fond of. I do have a recipe with Disney at both Family.com and Spoonful.com, but that was created with super-busy parents with basic cooking skills in mind. I dug it out and revamped it to better suit my own tastes and that of my family.
Minestrone uses just about any vegetable, bean and pasta you have on-hand. It's so forgiving and yet so delicious. You can make it exactly the same each time, or change it up slightly and still have a delicious and hearty soup. Try this recipe and tweak it as you like to fit your own needs.
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery - diced
1/2 small cabbage, shredded
2 leeks-white part only-cleaned and sliced
2 small carrots - peeled and diced
8 cups water or chicken stock
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 cups fresh green beans - cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 - 15 ounce can cannellini beans
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes - undrained
1 15-ounce can tomato puree
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 small zucchini- diced
1 cup dry pasta - such as ditalini or little shells
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery, cabbage and leeks and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until onions become translucent.
2. Pour in water or stock and stir in potatoes, green beans, cannellini beans, zucchini, tomatoes and puree, bay leaf, thyme, basil and oregano and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to a simmer immediately and cook for 15 minutes until veggies are tender.
4. Add pasta and parsley and cook until pasta is tender - another 10 minutes.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaf. Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan.