Yield: 6-8 servings
In Italian, minestrone means “big soup,” and this recipe delivers. In this version, carrots, onion, leeks, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, kidney beans, and whole wheat pasta make for a hearty vegetarian meal. Adding the parmesan rind to the broth infuses the soup with a subtle flavor. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 leek (white part and 1 inch green), quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 Idaho potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 3/4 cups dried kidney beans, cooked and drained (about 2 cups)
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 cup small whole wheat pasta
- 5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly grated parmesan for garnish
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- In a medium stock pot, heat oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, carrots, onion, and leek and raise the heat slightly. Cover and wilt the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cabbage, zucchini, potato, stock, tomato paste, and parmesan rind (optional). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add oregano, basil, pepper, and salt. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, and pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender. Remove the parmesan rind. Stir in the parsley. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese as a garnish.
Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook