Minestrone soup with cannellini beans, salt pork or pancetta, broth, cabbage, potato, zucchini, carrots, plum tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
Beans will absorb a great deal of liquid while cooking. Add more broth or water to replace lost liquid if needed, or the beans will stick.
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups dried Cannellini or Great Northern Beans
- 2 ounces salt pork or pancetta
- 10 to 12 cups beef or chicken broth (use gluten-free broth for gluten-free version)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 head savoy or curly cabbage, sliced
- 1 potato, diced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 cups chopped Italian styled peeled plum tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish
1 Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain beans, rinse, and place them in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add salt pork or pancetta and 6 cups of broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook gently for about 1 hour.
2 Heat oil in a separate large stockpot. Add chopped vegetables (onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley) and sauté gently 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add remaining vegetables and tomatoes. Add remaining 5 cups broth. Simmer for 40 to 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3 Remove salt pork or pancetta from beans. Dice finely. Transfer half of the beans to a food processor or a blender and blend into a paste. Add mashed beans to the vegetables. Add remaining whole beans, broth, and diced pork to vegetables.
4 Simmer 5 minutes longer. Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese.
Yield: Serves 10-12, easily. (This recipe makes a lot of soup!)