Minestrone is a thick soup that originated from Italy. It is a hearty soup with vegetables, tomatoes, and pasta. It is a very versatile dish because you can add whatever vegetables you have in your pantry, and whatever type of pasta you have on hand. You can make this soup all vegan by not adding any meat and using vegetable stock. You can add chicken, beef, or pancetta for the meat-lovers. This is a wonderful soup to serve on cold winter nights with a big chunk of bread.
This recipe takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to make. Serves 5 to 7.
• 3 oz of pancetta (optional)
• 2 tbsp of olive oil
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 cup of diced celery
• 4 minced garlic cloves
• 4 cups of chicken broth
• 1 can (28 oz) of pumpkin tomatoes, crushed
• 1/4 cup of cabbage, thinly sliced
• 2 cups of water
• 1 tsp of dried Italian herb blend (thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil)
• Red pepper flakes
• 1 cup of shucked cranberry beans (also called shelling beans)
• 1 can (15 oz) of garbanzo beans, drained
• 1 bunch of swiss chard, roughly chopped
• 2/3 cup of ditalini pasta
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Parmigiano Reggiano
• Italian parsley
Place a pot over medium heat and sautée pancetta with olive oil.
Before the pancetta turns brown, add onion and celery for 4 minutes until onion becomes translucent.
Add minced garlic, broth, and tomatoes.
Let it simmer a few minutes while you prep your beans.
Remove the shelling beans from the pods and add to the soup.
Throw in your cabbage and stir.
Season with red pepper flakes, Italian herbs, and add your garbanzos.
Turn down heat to medium low for 45 minutes until beans become tender.
Add your swiss chard.
Pour your pasta and cook until pasta is tender.
Scoop into a bowl.
Garnish with Italian parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Ideas And Tips:
• If the soup is too thick, add more water to the pot. Every time you add more liquid, adjust your seasoning (salt and pepper) and make sure to taste it.
• You can use any type of pasta in this dish, but ditalini pasta is traditionally used in Italy.
images – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHk6NSLGAkc