For cold days this satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients.This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available.
Portion control is always important, what I am saying is be careful not to make 5 gallons. The family may get tired of the dish, just saying.
Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.
1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 c. organic vegetable broth*
2 whole bay leaves
1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)
1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
1 T. fresh oregano leaves (or 1 t. dried)
½ T. crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Optional: 3” Parmesan cheese rind
2 c. Fusilli pasta
2 c. fresh green beans, cut into ½” pieces
2 c. fresh arugula
¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
2.Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft and tender.
3.Add diced tomatoes, cannelloni beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind, if desired, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
4.While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta and transfer to a medium bowl and toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.
5.Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.
6.Add arugula and additional vegetable broth, if needed, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.
7.To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls and top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread and/or a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal.