It was a cold winter’s day in New England and I really did not feel like venturing out to the grocery store. I needed to make dinner for the family, but looking out the window and seeing the snow swirling across my backyard, I made a decision. I was most definitely not going out. I would figure out something to make with what I had in the pantry. As my grandmother would say “sometimes you have to make do” …..or something like that.
Let’s see. I have a few carrots, potatoes, an onion and a can of white beans. Yes! I will make soup!
I ended up with what I now call Winter Minestrone and it is one of our family’s favorite soups. It’s a nice hearty soup with a lot of deliciousness going on, perfect for a cold day no matter where you live.
The best part is that not only is it easy to make but you really can change it up with what you have on hand. You don’t have any carrots? Please do not run to the store just to buy carrots. Just make the soup without them. If need be, swap out the cannellini beans for another type of white bean and please just use whatever kind of potatoes that are already in your bin. It’s soup!! Follow the basic recipe but please feel free to make it your own and try to avoid yet another trip to the store – especially if it is a cold winter’s day.
Winter Minestrone SoupPrint Recipe
Winter Minestrone Soup
- olive oil
- 1 large - onion - chopped
- 2 - gloves of garlic - minced
- 3-4 - carrots - peeled and sliced
- 2 - 3 - stalks of celery - sliced
- 1/2 - head of savoy cabbage - sliced thin - then cut into smaller bite size pieces
- 3 to 4 - Yukon gold potatoes - peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 - can of cannellini beans - drained and rinsed
- 2 quarts - chicken stock
- 1 - Parmesan Cheese rind*
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Parmesan Reggiano Cheese - optional
Drizzle some olive oil into the bottom of a stock pot and bring to medium heat. Add in the chopped onions and cook until soften, occasional stirring to avoid burning. You do not want the onions to brown.
Add in the garlic, carrots, celery and cabbage into the pot. Cook and stir the vegetables for about 3 or 4 minutes adding in more olive oil if you need it.
Add in the potatoes and cook and stir for another minute or so.
Pour in the chicken stock and then add in the Parmesan rind and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt
Bring the soup to a boil then lower the heat so that the soup is just simmering. Cook for about 20 minutes and then add in the cannellini beans. Cook for another 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
Remove the Parmesan rind and taste the soup for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve with a little Parmesan cheese grated on top.
- A Parmesan rind is traditionally added into a minestrone and adds in a lot of great flavor to the soup. Just cut off the back of a Parmesan wedge where it looks a little darker, about 1/2 inch in. I always have a wedge of Parmesan Reggiano in my refrigerator so this is an easy step for me but that said, if you do not typically have it on hand you can leave it out. I beg you to try it though. A good Parmesan can be used for so many dishes. It can be on the expensive side but one wedge will typically last me for a month. I just grate off what I need.
- Chicken Stock: Homemade chicken stock is best. I do make my own but sometimes life gets too busy so therefore I usually have a couple of boxes of store-bought chicken stock in my pantry. I am not promoting a particular brand but I usually get the Kitchen Basics.