This minestrone (a classic Italian vegetable soup) is infinitely versatile. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand that should probably be used up before they go bad. In autumn we love this version with beans, but you can also use barley or pasta as soup ingredients. This makes the soup a real cupboard cleanser: whatever legumes, grains, pasta you have on hand - it will taste great in this soup. We hope, like us, this recipe can help you in fighting against food waste.
1 ⅓ cups dried beans 2 bay leaves ¼ lemon 1 sprig thyme 1 clove of garlic, lightly smashed 2 tablespoons olive oil salt
2 small onions 2 carrots 2 stalks of celery 3 tablespoons olive oil ~ 35 oz of vegetables (we used: Zucchini, celeriac, parsnip, kohlrabi, chard, fennel, tomatoes) 1 small bunch of herbs (e.g. rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, parsley) 1,5 l water (or vegetable broth) salt and pepper (vegan) Parmesan cheese (optional) olive oil for drizzling
Soak beans for at least three hours or overnight, then strain. About 2 hours before you want to eat the soup, put the beans in a pot with bay leaves, lemon, thyme, garlic and olive oil, cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Add salt and cook on low heat, covered, until the beans are tender. This will take about 1-2 hours depending on the size of the beans. It is best to keep tasting to see if the beans are cooked.
While the beans are cooking, chop the onions, carrots and celery for the soup. Cut the remaining vegetables into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté until the onions soften. Then add water (or broth) and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the vegetables (except for the leafy greens and tomatoes) and the herbs (in a bunch) and cook for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still firm to the bite. Add leafy greens and tomatoes and cook briefly until the greens are tender. Then add the cooked beans. We do this with the cooking broth of the beans, but you can also use just the beans. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to taste and drizzle with olive oil.