“Minestrone” refers to any number of combinations of vegetable stews. I’ve made this stew with local (from last fall) red beans from a farm on the North Fork of Long Island.
The beans were soaked overnight, then boiled for about 2 hours until crisp-tender. You could substitute any of a variety of beans for these beans–kidney beans would be the closest in texture and flavor. But you could use any bean as the base of this soup.
The rest is fairly straightforward: saute carrots, celery, onion, bacon cubes (if desired). Add some chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, a sprig of rosemary, and add the cooked beans and some of their liquid. Let simmer for about an hour, then add some cooked pasta (I prefer ditalini). I also like some greens, so I’ve added a bunch of cooked cooked, chopped kale. Reheat as many days in a row as you like–it only gets better!
1 lb kidney beans (or any dried beans), soaked overnight,drained, then gently boiled until tender.
1/4 lb slab bacon, cut into cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped coarsely
2 carrots, chopped coarsely
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
2 quarts chicken broth
4 tbls olive oil
bunch of boiled, chopped kale (can be frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed)
1/4 lb ditalini
salt and pepper to taste
Saute bacon, celery, carrots and onion in oil until tender. Add bay leaves, chicken broth, and cooked, drained beans. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add kale, and cooked ditalini.
Try to only add as much pasta as you’ll be consuming today, since the soup is better reheated without pasta. Cook and add fresh pasta to the reheated soup.
Sprinkle with raw oil and parsley prior to serving. A sprinkle of pecorino romano cheese is absoluely necessary as well.