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    Minestrone

    This is the first soup I learned to make when I was in my teens. It changes with what is in the vegetable bin.


    List of Ingredients


    • 4 oz. Pancetta or bacon
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 3 qt. water
    • 1 cup Borlotti beans (any dried bean of your choice)
    • (1 cup left over meat, optional)
    • 1 cup coarsely cut celery
    • 1 cup diced carrot
    • 1½ cups diced potato
    • 1-15 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
    • 1 cup cut Roma beans or regular green beans (canned are OK)
    • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1½ cups diced bell pepper (optional)
    • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
    • ¼ head cabbage, coarsely cut
    • 1 cup small pasta
    • salt and pepper
    • Fresh basil leaves, cut very fine
    • Parmesan or Pecorino cheese grated


    Instructions


    1. Dice pancetta and sauté in large (5-qt.) soup pot. Add onion and cook until wilted
    2. Add rinsed beans and water. Bring to boil and let simmer until beans a nearly done, about an hour. Add potato, celery, and carrots; bring to boil and simmer about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, bell peppers, and garlic. Bring to boil and add cabbage, bring back to boil and add pasta. Season to taste with salt. At serving time stir in pepper and basil leaves. Serve sprinkled with cheese to taste. Makes a lot.
      I added 2-tsp. salt and I’m sure I will have to add more. The potatoes and beans always soak it up so you can’t tell until serving time if you need it or not. Freezes well.



    Final Comments


    This can be a vegetarian soup. Just leave out the meats and add an extra cup of beans or even better a combination of split peas and lentils.
    Zucchini or yellow summer squash are good, add with the cabbage.

 

 

 


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