This is the quintessential Italian vegetable soup! Whether I prepare it to accompany that leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, for a light Christmas Eve dinner or a stand-alone bowl of comfort, my signature minestrone is always made with a whole lot of love!
This particular pot simmering on the stove today is more than mere vegetables and broth. It is a vessel full of good memories that will nourish the soul as much as it will fuel the body … and it’s going on a road trip. This “love in a jar“ is going to be enjoyed by a very special young man. A man who is strong in his convictions, kind and compassionate and takes the time to appreciate the moments of each and every day. This is a man whom I admire and respect, who lives generously and victoriously … a man who still enjoys his mamma’s cooking!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 leek, (white part plus 1″ of green) quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4 ” thick slices
- 2 zucchini, , cut in half lengthwise and sliced
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry basil
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes
- 1 cup ditali pasta or other small pasta
- 1/4 cup ( plus more for grating on top) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In olive oil, cook garlic, onions, carrots and leek until wilted (10-15 min). Add zucchini, potato, both broths and tomato paste. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, add half of the parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium heat approx. 20 min.
- Add cannellini, kidney beans, and diced tomatoes. Adjust seasonings to taste and add remainder of parsley.
- Add grated Parmesan cheese on top, let simmer.
- In a separate pot, cook pasta with 2 teaspoons salt (according to package directions). Add to soup. This soup is even better the next day!
- To serve, sprinkle additional cheese on top of each bowl.