I know it is a cliché, but this soup really can be made in less than an hour and tastes like it simmered all day. Minestrone lends itself to variations, so improvise with the ingredients that you have on hand. If you were wise enough to freeze pesto at the end of the summer, you can turn this soup into Minestrone alla Genovese by stirring about 1/4 cup of the pesto into the pot just before serving.
Kitchen Note: Like all soups that contain pasta, this will thicken on standing. Thin with additional broth or water if needed.
2 tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery root, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or turkey broth
1 quart crushed tomatoes or tomato purée, or 1 (28-ounce) can
3 cups thinly sliced green or savoy cabbage, or kale (remove and discard tough stems from kale)
1-1/2 cups cooked white beans (cannellini, navy, pea), or 1 (15-ounce) can, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup small pasta (rings, ditalini, alphabets, bowties)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery root, carrot, and garlic, and sauté until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cabbage, beans, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Return the soup to a boil. Add the pasta and boil gently until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
From Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables by Andrea Chesman (Storey Publishing, 2010). Copyright © 2010 by Andrea Chesman. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the publisher.
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