There are quite a few varieties of minestrone soups as the vegetables should change with the seasons.|
This soup can be prepared using water or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian soup, but it will not have the same rich flavor.
The quantities of each vegatable can be changed and you can also add any desired on-hand vegetable.
For a more tender cabbage, choose tender small kale leaves; kale will keep longer refrigerated wrapped in paper toweling, in a plastic bag.
*The crust of Parmesan cheese, if you have any, will give even more flavor to this soup; remove the crust before serving.
- 3 tablespoons [45 mL] olive oil
- 1 cup [250 mL] onion dices
- 1 cup [250 mL] carrot dices
- 1 cup [250 mL] fennel dices
- 1 tablespoon [15 mL] chopped garlic
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 summer squash, diced
- 2 teaspoons [10 mL] freshly chopped thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] crushed chile flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] chopped fennel seeds
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed, into 1-inch [2.5-cm] pieces
- 1 [19-ounce / 540-mL] can navy beans, drained
- 1 1/2 cups [375 mL] canned tomatoes with juice, into pieces
- 4 cups [1 L] chicken broth
- 1 [2-inch / 5-cm] piece Parmesan cheese crust [optional]*
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- A little water, if needed
- 1 cup [225 g] grossly freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
- Over medium heat, heat olive oil into a large casserole.
- Soften together onion, carrot and fennel dices along with chopped garlic over low heat, for approximately 10 minutes.
- Add zucchini and summer squash dices; soften for 10 minutes more, until all vegetables are tender yet not colored.
- Mix in freshly chopped thyme, crushed chile flakes and chopped fennel seeds to coat vegetables pieces.
- Add kale pieces, drained navy beans, tomato pieces with juice, chicken broth and, if desired, the piece of Parmesan cheese crust.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat and leave to simmer slowly until all vegetable pieces are soft and the soup full of flavors, for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
- Generously season soup with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Throw away Parmesan cheese crust if using.
- If soup is too thick, stir in just a little water.
- Serve soup into individual bowls, each serving evenly garnished with grossly freshly grated Parmesan cheese.