Although I enjoy Minnestrone, I usually make as noted below, without beans or pasta.
This soup is best when prepared a day in advance and refrigerated overnight to allow the flavors to marry. I’m impatient, so I eat it fresh and then enjoy it even more as leftovers.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 leeks, sliced
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 6 leaves of Napa cabbage, roughly chopped
- 3 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 25-ounce can of diced tomatoes (or 2 pounds chopped Roma tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (optional – I usually use dried from spice rack or omit)
- ½ cup red wine (optional)
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- You can use regular cabbage (instead of Napa), but it smells a little and doesn’t taste quite as good.
- I usually use only 1 zucchini
- Sometimes I will add some broccoli florets and parsnip
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, zucchini, green beans, and celery. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring the veggies occasionally.
Stir in the stock, cabbage, tomatoes, and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
If desired add red wine at this point. Simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool to serving temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste.