This Minestrone soup recipe has been one of my favorite comfort soups for many years. At the end of the summer season — when fresh green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs are still in supply — I like to make this soup and freeze it for the cold months ahead. It is full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and tastes delicious especially when an unexpected virus comes along. You can serve this by itself or with homemade crackers, a grilled cheese sandwich, or crusty multigrain bread.
Recipe adapted from Italian Cooking Class Cookbook, Beekman House New York
Servings:Makes about 12 cups (3L); 8 – 10 servings.
- 3 medium carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 medium onions
- 1 large potato (sometimes I use a sweet potato)
- 1/4 pound (115g) green beans
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 1/2 pound (225g) green cabbage
- 3 medium cloves garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil (60ml)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 cups (825ml) vegetable, beef, or chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups (355ml) water
- 4 – 5 large tomatoes with skin and seeds removed, or 1 can (28 ounces or 790g) Italian plum tomatoes or San Marzano whole tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon (2ml) each salt, and dried basil, crumbled – If substituting dried herbs for fresh herbs use 1/2 tablespoons.
- 1/4 teaspoon (1ml) each pepper and rosemary, crumbled (or substitute one small fresh sprig of rosemary for dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (1 pound or 450g) cannellini beans or chickpeas
- Peel the carrots; chop coarsely. Chop celery coarsely. Chop onions. Peel the potato; cut into 3/4 inch (2cm) cubes. Trim green beans; cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Trim zucchini; cut into 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) cubes. Coarsely shred cabbage. Mince garlic.
- Heat oil and butter in a 5-quart (5L) Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions; sauté stirring occasionally, until soft and golden but not brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in carrots and potato; sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in celery and green beans; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini; sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in cabbage and garlic; cook for 1 minute.
- Add broth, water, and liquid from tomatoes to the pan. Chop tomatoes coarsely; add to pan. Stir in salt, basil, rosemary, pepper, and bay leaf. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover, simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
- Rinse and drain beans; add beans to soup. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soup is thick, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
Note: Soup can be served with grated parmesan cheese if desired.
Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer