Minestrone Soup

I have  made many Minestrone soups before but the broth for this particular soup is probably the best. The base of the soup starts off simply enough with onions, leeks, thyme and parsley. Then the vegetables are added one at a time, sauteing each about 3 minutes. Followed the directions very closely, but did not add the fava beans as they were not available at this time.

This recipe comes from Rao's Cookbook, a collection of  dishes from Rao's a famous Italian restaurant in New York. Apparently the restaurant is cash and carry, not open for lunch, open for dinner Monday thru Friday and only one seating per table a night. It's written that not much has changed since the doors first opened and the food is amazing.


1/2 cup fine quality olive oil
1 cup onions (chopped)
1 cup whole leeks (chopped)
1/4 cup parsley (minced)
1 teaspoon thyme (minced)
2 cups potatoes (peeled and diced)
2 cups carrots (diced)
1 cup celery (diced)
1 cup zucchini (diced)
1 cup fresh fava beans
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
2 cups canned imported San Marzano Italian plum tomatoes, with juice
4 cups chicken broth or water
1 to 2 cups cooked cannelini or kidney beans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

To prepare:

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in onions, leeks, parsley and thyme. Lower heat and saute' for about 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown.

Add the remaining vegetables - potatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, fava beans and peas - one at a time, sauteing each for about 3 minutes. When all the vegetables are sauteed, stir in tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until soup is quite thick.

Add cooked beans, mashing against sides of soup pot with the back of the spoon as you stir them in. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Serve sprinkled with cheese.


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