Minestrone is not one of our traditional dishes, but we do order it if we eat out. (I think everyone orders this soup at Olive Garden except for me. I like the Zuppa Toscana.) After decades of ordering this soup at restaurants, my dad finally decided it was time to make it himself. His recipe is adapted from one he found in a cookbook. Use fresh, dried, canned, or frozen vegetables, or leave out the bacon for a vegetarian soup.
- 8 ounces red kidney beans canned
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 strips of bacon chopped
- 4 Roma tomatoes peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 9 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 rutabaga diced
- 2 potatoes diced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 zucchini sliced
- ½ cup peas
- ½ cup small macaroni
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy pan and cook the onion, garlic, and bacon. Cook until the onion is soft and the bacon is done.
- Add the tomato, parsley, kidney beans, stock, and red wine. Simmer, covered over low heat for 1 hour. Add the carrot, rutabaga, potato, and the tomato paste. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the zucchini, peas, and macaroni. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables and macaroni are tender. Season to taste. Top with parmesan cheese to serve.