Sometimes my adopted Italian grandmother would add shredded chard, kale, or green cabbage into the broth a few minutes before she pulled it off the heat. Even at 85, she could still cook a mean soup, roll pasta with the best of them, and make a pignoli cookie that would make all your worries of the day disappear. —KarenB
bacon slices, chopped
medium red onion, chopped
medium carrots, peeled and diced
garlic clove, finely minced
large celery stalk, diced
red pepper flakes
can (14.5 oz.) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
large potato, peeled and diced
can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, bacon, carrots, garlic, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute. Add the potato, cannellini beans, and 7 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the green beans.
Reduce soup to a simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Taste and season with extra salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the garlic and basil. Serve with sprinkled Parmesan cheese. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.