I wanted to make my own kidney beans for this recipe - so I soaked them and then put them in the pressure cooker ... did I LOOK at the directions? Of course not! Red beans, black beans, chick peas, how different can they be, right? Turns out, a lot different. I wound up with a pot of very soft - way too soft to be whole in soup - beans. It occured to me that they would, however, make a lovely thickener ... so for this recipe you can overcook some beans, or alternately just simmer some canned ones until they are quite soft ... then proceed. Also - this soup is better the next day so if you can prepare it in advance, all the better! - aargersi —aargersi
Test Kitchen Notes
I rarely make minestrone, but that’s about to change. This terrific recipe defies the conventional notion that minestrone must cook forever to taste great. Aargersi has you cook the veggies just long enough to soften them, so this soup comes together quickly. The fresh herbs added last makes it bright and flavorful. I used cranberry beans, as that’s all I had, and added a bay leaf, from habit. The parmesan rind – I only had about 3 ounces – adds depth and richness, without making the soup heavy. With a touch of red wine vinegar splashed on before serving, this soup was perfect. I’m looking forward to making (and eating) this again! - AntoniaJames
- Serves 4-6
chicken broth (homemade if you have it)
overcooked kidney beans
1 16 ounces
can kidney beans
oven roasted tomatoes (see below **)
carrots - peeled and chopped
ribs celery - cleaned and chopped
cob of corn - cut the kernels off the cob
Swiss chard leaves with the stems (until the tough part - mine were really tender because I just picked them) - chopped
cut green beans (stem parts removed - stringed of necessary)
small pasta - I based my selection on cuteness and went for itty bitty bow ties
chopped fresh herbs - I went with what needed picking - thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil and Italian parsley - the half cup measure is AFTER chopping, so a nice big handful of fresh herbs
salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta to VERY al dente (aka not quite done) rinse and set aside.
- Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they are just clear. Add the broth and the overcooked beans, simmer for a few minutes and then use an immersion blender to blend it up (or transfer to a regular blender).
- Add the carrot, celery, corn and parmesan rinds and bring back to a simmer, cook until the veggies are tender. Add the remaining kidney beans, green beans, chard (leaves and stems) and the roasted tomatoes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust. Stir in the pasta and the herbs, check seasoning again, and that's it! Serve with a nice grilled slice of bread and it's good if each bowl gets a hunk of the parmesan rind.
- ** roasted tomatoes - these are MariaRaynal's you-never-want-to-be-without-them roasted tomatoes - cut a bunch of roma tomatoes in half. Toss them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, put them on a sheet in the oven at 300 and roast until they have gone all soft and caramelized, about 2 hours... I use these ALL of the time and play with oils / vinegars and herbs and spices when roasting.