Minestrone Vegetarian Ingredients:
¼ cup olive oil plus extra for serving
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, washed and chopped
3 cups mixed green vegetables such as chopped spinach, cabbage, Swiss chard, lettuce leaves or spring greens
2 zucchini, cubed
1 carrot, peeled and cubed
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup cooked cannellini or garbanzo beans
3 quarts vegetable broth or water and more if necessary
¾ cup short stubby pasta
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Saute gently until soft without browning, about 6-7 minutes. Add the celery, green vegetables, zucchini, carrot, tomatoes and garlic. Saute gently until the vegetables just begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
2. Add the beans and vegetable broth or water. Add more water if necessary to cover the vegetables completely. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup slowly until the vegetables are tender, about 25-30 minutes, stirring regularly. Add more liquid if necessary (use either vegetable broth or water).
3. Season the soup, heat to boiling and add the pasta. Cook gently until the pasta is al dente, tender but still firm, and transfer onto soup bows or a tureen and serve. Drizzle each serving to taste with olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.