This is by far my favorite minestrone soup in the Blue Zones Kitchen cookbook.
Forever Young Minestrone
Ingredients (Makes 8 servings):
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (about ⅔ cup)
- 2 medium celery stalks, chopped (about ½ cup)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- One 28-oz. crushed tomatoes
- 3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 ½ cups chopped fennel
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 15-oz. can fava beans (or ½ cup dried)
- ½ 15-ounce cranberry or kidney beans (or ½ cup dried)
- ½ 15-oz. can chickpeas (or ⅓ cup dried)
- 6 to 8 cups water
- ⅔ cup Israeli couscous, acini de pepe, or small pasta
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 parmesan rind
Warm 3 tbsp. olive oil in large soup pot. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often until soft, but not browned, a couple minutes. Add garlic and cook 20 seconds, or just fragrant.
Stir in tomatoes, potatoes, fennel, parsley, drained beans and chickpeas. Add enough water (6-8 cups) to cover everything by 1 inch. Add in the Parmesan rind if using.
Raise heat to high and bring to full boil. Then, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered. For canned beans, simmer 10 minutes only. For dried, cook 1 ½ hours or until beans are soft.
Then, stir in the pasta, salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water if soup seems dry. Continue to simmer, uncovered until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes
Serve with drizzle of olive oil and crusty sourdough bread.
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