When I think of Italian cooking, the word “minestrone” is one of the first to come to mind. Hearty, delicious soup filled with all sorts of vegetables and pasta, this meal is fit for a king. As with all soups, it tastes great as soon as it is cooked, but tastes even better after a night in the fridge. So if you can stand the wait after smelling those tantalizing scents of the minestrone cooking, control the urge to gulp it all down right away and have a little patience – it will be worth the wait!
MINESTRONE SOUP RECIPE
1 cup dried cannellini beans, rinsed and drains
8 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (28 oz) Italian plum tomatoes (no salt added, chopped
1/2 cup minced parsley
3 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
2 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup ditalini or other small pasta
4 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
1. Soak the beans overnight by covering 2-3 inches with cold water.
2. Drain the beans and rinse them, then add them to a large saucepan. Add the broth, salt, and pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and cook for 1 hour until just tender.
3. While that cooks, heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and saute the onions, carrot, celery, and garlic until the onions are softened. Stir this mixture into the beans, then add the tomatoes and parsley. Simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add the cabbage, zucchini, and pasta and simmer for 20 minutes, until the cabbage is tender.
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover it, and let it stand for 10 minutes, then serve sprinkled with the Parmesan cheese.