I love making soups. I usually make a pot of a soup on Sunday and then I can have it during the week for lunch or dinner, and as the weather changes soups are great to keep you warm. I even have dinner parties where all I have is a buffet of soups and people love it.
One soup I never understood was minestrone. I don’t know why but I was never a minestrone fan, every time I ordered it at restaurants I got a broth with some vegetables in it and because of that I never made it at home. That is until my husband said he wanted me to try to make a good minestrone sour. Well I think I might have found my new favorite soup. I am telling you this is the best minestrone I have ever had, not that I have lots to compare to but this is my new favorite soup right now.
Minestrone literally means “big soup,” it is an Italian classic packed with vegetables, pasta, beans and lots of other goodies.
I found this recipe from The Culinary Institute of America Book of Soups and made a few adjustments but it is their basic recipe. I do have to say this cookbook is great if you are looking for a good soup book.
Take out some of the chicken stock you made last week and make this soup!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ounce pancetta or bacon chopped (5-6 thin slices)
1 ½ cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped onions (1 onion)
1 cup sliced carrots (2 carrots)
¼ cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped, drained, canned plum tomatoes
2 quarts Chicken Stock
½ cup peeled, diced potato (2 potatoes)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese rind
3 ounces angel hair pasta broken into 2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
½ cup drained chickpeas
½ cup drained kidney beans
1/3 cup basil pesto
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta/bacon and cook until the fat melts, 3-5 minutes. Do not brown.
Add the cabbage, onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
Add the broth, potato, and Parmesan cheese rind. Bring to as simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, cook the angel hair pasta according to package directions. Drain.
When the vegetables in the soup are tender, add the cooked pasta, chickpeas, and kidney beans. Remove and discard the Parmesan rind.
Season the soup to taste with the pesto, salt and pepper.
Serve in bowl and sprinkle with cheese.