This famous Italian soup has been much imitated around the world with very different results. The homemade version is a delicious revelation and is also extremely healthy, as it has pasta, beans, and fresh vegetables. Try to make the minestrone a day early and refrigerate as this improves the flavors. Serve with grated Parmesan and the chopped, fresh parsley.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
4 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 ½ quart vegetable stock, store-bought or homemade
1 pound chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, with liquid
¼ cup elbow macaroni
3 tsp. salt, rock or iodized only
3 tsp. ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, over moderate heat. Add the leek, carrots, zucchini, green beans and celery.
Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
Mix up the vegetable stock, tomatoes, and thyme.
Bring to a boil, replace the lid, and reduce heat to low; just simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Mix up the cannellini beans with liquid and pasta. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving, but scooping some of the contents into a large, fresh bowl.
How to Cook the Classic Minestrone
Contributed by: Edit