Minestrone Soup Recipe
Substitute ingredients liberally with whatever is available or in season.
• 1 cup dried cranberry beans
• 4 quarts vegetable stock
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 cups fresh shell beans
• 4 large onions, diced
• 10 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1 mild or hot pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
• 2 sweet peppers, diced
• 6 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
• Pinch allspice
• 2 tsp summer savory
• 1 tsp oregano
• 1/2 tsp rosemary
• 1/2 tsp thyme
• 3/4 to 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
• 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
• Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste
• 2 cups corn kernels (about 4 ears)
• 2 cups green beans, chopped
• 1 cup carrots, diced
• 2 to 3 cups greens, chopped
• 3 cups cooked pasta
• Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1. Soak dry beans overnight and drain in the morning. Simmer them in stock with bay leaves about an hour.
2. Add shell beans, and simmer until all beans are soft, about another hour.
3. In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Add peppers, and sauté a few minutes.
4. Add tomatoes, increase heat and stir five minutes.
5. Add allspice and all the fresh herbs except basil and parsley. Add mixture to the beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
6. Add basil and parsley (saving a little for garnish), salt, pepper and remaining vegetables. Simmer 20 minutes more.
7. Add greens about 5 minutes before serving. Serve over cooked pasta. (You can cook the pasta in the soup instead, but be sure to not overcook it.) Garnish with parsley, basil and freshly grated cheese.
Read more about cold weather soup recipes: Warming Winter Soups.