Since the weather started cooling off, I've been in the mood for SOUP. Every lunch and dinner, all I want is soup, soup and more soup.
Minestrone has always been a favorite of mine, but I've never made it! I finally decided it was high time that I did.
So on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I made a batch of this for work day lunches. It is SO delicious and I know that it freezes beautifully. Make a few batches for your fridge, and then put a few more in your freezer. To thaw from your freezer, just put on your countertop overnight. In the morning, just put it in your refrigerator to store until you are ready to heat it up. This soup is hearty, flavorful and just so comforting.
So get yourself a slice of fresh Italian bread and a bowl of this hot soup and watch the bright red-orange leaves float to the ground outside your window.
Adapted from Epicurious.com, originally from Gourmet Magazine, March 1993
1/2 pound (about 1 1/4 cups) dried white beans such as Great Northern, picked over and rinsed 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian cured pork belly, available at Italian markets and specialty foods shops) or sliced lean bacon, chopped (I used bacon)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 rib of celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice (I used one very large zucchini)
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound boiling potatoes
4 cups shredded green cabbage (preferably Savoy) (I omitted)
1/2 pound kale, rinsed, drained, stems discarded, and the leaves chopped (about 6 cups)
a 28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped coarse and drained well
4 1/2 cups chicken broth (preferably low-salt)
2-3 springs rosemary, chopped (I added this)
2-3 springs thyme, chopped (I added this)