Minestrone Soup

May 19, 2010
5 Ratings
Author Notes

I usually don't follow a recipe for soup, and I rarely write one down. I wrote up this one for publication, and even if I don't follow it exactly every time, at least I've got a good framework now. - Foodwriter97426

Note: Vegetables can be changed, added to or deleted. Amounts are only suggestions. Dried herbs can be used in place of fresh - cut amounts by 1/2. —Foodwriter97426

Test Kitchen Notes

This minestrone follows the Italian tradition of relying solely on the vegetables, beans and a scrap of parmesan rind for the flavor of the broth, which is made with a base of water. The beans, cooked from scratch in the soup broth, enrich the soup, napa cabbage sweetens it and a last minute addition of red wine underscores its heartiness. You might want to start with half the pepper called for and add more to taste, but whatever you do, don't forget the final pinch of freshly grated parmesan on top! We also added a cup and a half of water as the soup simmered, to keep it nice and brothy. - A&M
—The Editors

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • Serves 6
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil for sauteing, plus more as needed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 3/4 cup dry cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup dry garbanzo beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (or 1 can, with juice)
  • 1 cup cut green beans, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 2 inches Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 small napa cabbage (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup soup pasta (such as ditalini, orzo, or tiny shells)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan, for garnish
In This Recipe
  1. Heat a heavy 4 quart (or larger) pot over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat bottom of pot. Add onions and garlic; reduce heat to medium. Saute until onions are translucent.
  2. Add beans, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are just barely tender.
  3. Add herbs and seasonings, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini and cheese rind. Return to boil briefly, then reduce heat to low and simmer an additional 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, thinly slice and chop cabbage. Add to soup along with the pasta and simmer 30 minutes.
  5. At this point the soup can be refrigerated (or left on the stove with the heat off for up to 2 hours). Reheat before serving. When ready to serve, add wine and taste for seasoning. Serve topped with grated cheese if desired, or pass cheese at the table.

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