"Few things on a menu are more trustworthy than minestrone. The worst thing that can happen is it comes out a little watery, but nothing horrid enough that you can't fix with a little salt. But the best that can happen? A rich, deeply flavorful soup bound together with Parmesan cheese. This version is like the soup you get in the can that you always love, only a little fresher (though, yes, hello, it's me, Chrissy, and I use three cans in the recipe; four, if you use broth from a can, too). Then, because sometimes more is more, I smeared Mom's hot chili oil mixed with mayo all over some toasts and broiled them to use as little soup scoopers. Or if you hate soup, just eat the toasts and pass that bowl over here, thank you very much."
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add the carrots and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the broth, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, green beans (with the liquid from the can), basil, oregano, 2½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid thickens slightly, about 20 minutes.
Add the pasta and cook until tender, another 10 minutes or so. Stir in the Parm and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Garnish with more Parm. Serve with the chili mayo toasts.
If the soup cools completely, it’ll thicken a lot because of the starch in the pasta. If it’s too thick for you, add a little water or broth when you reheat it.
Chili Mayo Toasts
Preheat the broiler to low (or if you just have one broiler setting, position the oven rack so it’s not right under the broiler).
Brush one side of the toasts with a bit of chili oil (the bread will drink in the oil), then spread each toast with a light layer of mayo and season with salt and pepper to taste. Broil on a baking sheet until golden and toasty, watching the broiler so the bread doesn’t burn, 1 to 3 minutes depending on the broiler.