Minestrone Soup is a Once in a Lifetime Experience
I always feel a little apprehensive when I post a recipe like this minestrone soup. It's the type of dish I never make the same way twice, and the fear is that someone will watch and assume that this is my "official" version.
You don't need a recipe for minestrone, just like you don't need a recipe for a great sandwich, or an epic salad. To make minestrone soup precisely same way every time, using a very specific list of ingredients and amounts, is to trample on the soul of this Italian classic.
Having said all that, what if you happen to make it so incredibly delicious one time that you want to experience the exact same shuddering soupgasm in the future? That seems like a perfectly sound reason for why you should write down the recipe…except cooking food doesn't work that way.
Your perception of how a recipe tastes involves so many factors above and far beyond the list of ingredients. Remember that time you made that super awesome whatever, and it was so perfect, and then you made it again, exactly the same way, but somehow it just didn't taste as great? This is why.
So, I hope you give this amazing minestrone recipe a try soon…but only once. Enjoy!
3 oz pancetta 2 tbsp olive oil 1 diced onion 1 cup diced celery 4 minced garlic cloves 4 cups chicken broth 1 (28-oz) can plum tomatoes, crushed fine 2 cups water, plus more as needed salt and pepper to taste 1 tsp dried Italian herb blend (mine was thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil) red pepper flakes to taste 1 cup freshly shucked cranberry beans (aka shelling beans)
2 or 3 cups chopped cabbage 1 (15-oz) can garbanzo beans, drained 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped 2/3 cup raw ditalini pasta extra virgin olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fresh Italian parsley to garnish the top