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Minestrone Soup

| October 17, 2013

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Adding a Parmesan cheese rind to your soup is a common practice in authentic Italian cooking.



Serves 6 to 8

  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish  
  1 medium onion, peeled and chopped  
  3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks  
  3 stalks celery, cut into bite-sized chunks  
  1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into bite-sized chunks  
  2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded  
  6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced  
  1 teaspoon dried basil  
  1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice  
  1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained  
  quarts homemade chicken stock, or low-sodium canned chicken broth  
  1 3-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind (optional), more cheese, for garnish  
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  
  ½ pound small pasta (such as ditalini or mini penne), cooked  




  1. Warm the oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cabbage to the pot and continue to cook until the cabbage has wilted, about 3 minutes more.  Stir in the garlic and dried basil.  Cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes in juice, cannellini beans, and chicken stock to the stockpot.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer.  Stir in the rind of Parmesan cheese (if using) and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender and the soup has developed a good flavor, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the rind of Parmesan cheese and discard.  Season the soup to taste with salt and black pepper.  Stir in the cooked pasta.  To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish each portion with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese.

Nathan Scott is the author of Nathan Scott’s Open Kitchen:  Annual Recipes 2011

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Copyright © 2013 by Nathan Scott.  All rights reserved.

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