Minestrone is an Italian word that describes a soup made with a selection of diced seasonal vegetables, all cooked together until thick and flavorful. Every region has its own version: In Liguria, for example, they add a spoonful of basil pesto, while in Milan, there has to be rice in the mix. In Tuscany, we love to add beans.
In the winter, I reduce the amount of vegetables but cook them in my flavorful homemade stock, along with cooked cannellini beans to add substance. I like to serve the minestrone with toasted bread, plus with a shower of grated pecorino and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Serves 6 to 8
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 head Savoy cabbage
- 5 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans, divided
- Grated Pecorino Romano
- 8 slices toasted bread
Pour the olive oil into a large pot over low heat, then add the finely sliced onion and shallot, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until soft and cooked through.
Add the carrots and potatoes, then the Savoy cabbage. Stir thoroughly to combine. Cover the vegetables with 4 cups of vegetable stock, then increase the heat until the mixture is bubbling vigorously. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
While the soup is simmering, purée 1 cup of cannellini beans with the remaining 1 cup vegetable stock.
Add the cannellini bean purée and the remaining 2 cups cannellini beans into the soup, and cook for 45 more minutes. The soup is ready when the potatoes and carrots are soft and the cabbage is in silky ribbons.
Ladle into serving bowls, sprinkle with grated pecorino romano and freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle with some olive oil. Serve each bowl with a slice of toasted bread.