Magnifico Minestrone Soup
Why I Love This Recipe
We LOVE vegetables in our house, and are always looking for ways to eat more of them, AND use any leftover vegetables in the house. This soup was born out of having half a head of cabbage, leftover escarole, beans in the pantry, celery, carrots onions and garlic in the fridge and tomato sauce (left over from marinara). These are the base for a good hearty Minestrone! I also keep all the small cheese rinds (cut off the outside hard part with label, of course) and throw it in for even more flavor!
Ingredients You'll Need
1 onion diced (or leeks if you just happen to have they are sooo flavorful, just slice lengthwise and chop and rinse like crazy!)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 head of White Cabbage
2 cans of Canned Beans (1 of each kind) in your pantry (chick peas, cannelloni beans, kidney, etc. please rinse the beans first to remove starchy water)
1-2 cups of homemade marinara sauce if you have or a can or two (14.5)
2 cups of water or vegetable stock (if you have chicken you can use, but then it's not traditional Minestrone (translation - thick vegetable and pasta soup)
Any leftover vegetables in your fridge (if cooked already, add in last 15 minutes of cooking to heat through) OR a bag of mixed frozen vegetables you can add this for last 15 minutes of cooking too. **
To help thicken the soup, add:
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste (to help thicken)
Leftover diced potatoes
leftover small pasta
1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, dash of hot pepper sauce
If using fresh vegetables (celery and carrots) chop finely and add to the cabbage mixture to sauté in olive oil with garlic and onion.
Cheese rind (see note below)
Brown chopped cabbage in your Soup pot with olive oil, garlic and onion for 5 minutes on low heat till garlic and onion are soft
Add marinara sauce and water and cover for 20 minutes to soften the cabbage.
Once cabbage is soft, add all remaining ingredients (except cooked pasta) and cook on low/medium for another 15 minutes till heated through
Remove the cheese "rind" and add pasta at end for another 5 minutes to heat
Sprinkle with grated cheese (and if you like, hot red pepper flakes) serve with a crusty loaf of Italian bread!