Why is it we don't make more vegetable type soups in the summer when all the vegetable and herbs can come from our gardens or the farmers market? Soups are fabulous make-a-head meals. All that's needed to complete the meal is a simple salad and good bread. I have a pot of this one right now! It's also a great way to clean out the refrigerator.
This is a New York Times - Craig Claibourne- 1961 recipe, and a personal favorite.
6 generous servings
1/2 pound dry white beans soaked in water overnight
3 quarts salted water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 pound salt pork, cut into small dice
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped
1 leek, diced and washed
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, diced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
1/4 small cabbage, shredded
2 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 quarts water
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup elbow macaroni or ditali
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1. Drain the beans and boil them in the salted water about one hour, or until tender. Drain.
2. Place the olive oil in a large kettle and add the salt pork, garlic, onion, leek, parsley and basil. Brown lightly. Add the tomato paste thinned with a little water and cook five minutes. Add the tomatoes, celery, carrots, potatoes, turnip, cabbage, zucchini, water, salt and pepper and cook slowly forty-five minutes to one hour. Add the beans.
3. Add the elbow macaroni and cook ten minutes, or until tender. Correct the seasonings and pour into heated bowl. Serve immediately, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese
Note: The number and kinds of vegetables used in making minestrone are optional. They may be included according to season.