Minestrone is an Italian vegetable soup. This soup is so common in Italy, it is probably listed on every restaurant menu. The Italians have ample varieties of minestrone, depending on the vegetables in season and the region of Italy. I started making this hearty vegetable-packed minestrone while living in Switzerland. I especially appreciate minestrone for the many wholesome health benefits and at the same time the highly flavorful taste. Versatility describes this soup, and aside from the immense choice of veggies, you can choose to add pasta or swap it out with quinoa for the gluten-free crowd. If an ingredient is not on hand, be creative and substitute with another. In the photo above, I added kale in place of cabbage and quinoa for pasta. Additionally, don't let the amount of ingredients fool you, it is really simple to make!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup zucchini, chopped
1 cup green beans, trimmed & cut into ½ inch pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
3 large leaves savoy cabbage, shredded
3 cups hot water
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup red wine
5 ounces baby spinach
1 - 15 oz. can cannellini or borlotti beans, drained
½ cup dried elbow pasta, or similar small pasta
parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
2. Sauté onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add zucchini and green beans and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, cabbage, hot water and spices to the pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Stir in beans, spinach, pasta (or quinoa) and red wine. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
5. Top with parmesan if desired.