A twist on good ole minestrone. Very tasty and good for you too. This asks for the beans to be drained and rinsed. I never drain the juice from beans going into a soup. It's far too much food value to wash down the drain.
- 2 medium onions, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 stalk celery, sliced (1/2 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth or 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans beef broth
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes, cut up
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 small fennel, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced or 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini or 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick (1 cup)
- 1 cup frozen Italian cut green beans or 1 cup cut green beans
- 3⁄4 cup packaged dried tiny bow tie pasta or 3⁄4 cup pasta shells or 3⁄4 cup other small shell pasta
- 1⁄2 cup diced prosciutto (2 ounces) or 1⁄2 cup cooked ham (2 ounces)
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a large Dutch oven or kettle cook onions, celery, carrot, garlic, and crushed red pepper in hot olive oil or cooking oil until onion is tender.
- Stir in the chicken or beef broth, undrained tomatoes, tomato juice, fennel or cabbage, and Italian seasoning. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the cannellini or great northern beans, zucchini, green beans, pasta, and prosciutto or ham. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables and pasta are tender.
- To serve, ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Make-Ahead Tip: Cool soup. Cover and chill up to 48 hours. Reheat over medium heat, stirring frequently.