Stormy weather is soup weather. I dusted off an old favorite: Hearty Minnestrone. You can find the original on the Cooks Illustrated web site. I blogged about this back in November 2011. I’m updating now because I got a new external flash for my camera and this was the first time I used it in the wild.
One of the highlights of this soup is the simmering of the beans with a couple of chunks of Parmesan cheese rind. It really adds a nice layer of the flavor.
The vegetables include onion, zucchini, celery, carrots, and cabbage with a bit of basil thrown in at the end.
After sautéing the pancetta, we add onion, celery, carrots, and zucchini; then at the end toss in the cabbage until it wilts. Pull out the vegetables and simmer the beans with water, chicken stock, and the Parmesan cheese rind for about an hour. For a nice thick soup put the beans on an active simmer.
When the beans are tender, add some V8 juice and the reserved vegetable/pancetta mix and simmer another 15 minutes. At the end toss in the basil. A nice glass of pinot noir sets off this delicious soup; perfect for a stormy day.