Minestrone

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 cups sliced savoy or curly cabbage
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 medium fresh ripe tomatoes (romas if available), cored, peeled, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or great northern white beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

Preparations

    step 1

    Sauté the vegetables:Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart thick-bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.Add the bay leaf, thyme, fennel seeds. Add the potato, cabbage, zucchini, and tomatoes. Add the chicken stock.

    step 2

    Simmer the soup:Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.

    step 3

    Finish the soup:Add the beans and parsley to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.