This famous Italian soup has been much imitated around the world with very different results. The homemade version is a delicious revelation and is also extremely healthy, as it has pasta, beans and fresh vegetables. Try to make the minestrone a day early and refrigerate as this improves the flavors. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 pound chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, with liquid
- 1/4 cup elbow macaroni
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add leek, carrots, zucchini, green beans and celery. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
- Stir in the stock, tomatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil, then replace the lid, and reduce heat to low; simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the cannellini beans with liquid and pasta. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.