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How-To: Classic Minestrone

Everyday Food, October 2008

This beloved Italian soup isn't just hearty and healthy -- it's really flexible. Minestrone typically includes lots of leafy greens, other veggies, and beans. Which to choose? You're limited only by the contents of your refrigerator and pantry. I've come up with suggestions for customizing our version of minestrone, such as swapping zucchini for green beans, kale for cabbage, and chickpeas for cannellini beans. Get the ladle!

Recipe
Classic Minestrone

Minestrone, Your Way
Vegetables

  • Replace green beans with 2 cups diced zucchini or summer squash.
  • Replace potato with 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash.
  • As an extra vegetable, use 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (add to soup after 15 minutes of simmering in step 3).

Leafy Greens
Instead of cabbage, choose a small bunch of robust greens (add to soup after 15 minutes of simmering in step 3).

  • Kale (tough stems removed), thinly sliced
  • Escarole, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Swiss chard, trimmed and thinly sliced

Beans
Instead of cannellini beans, try a 15-ounce can of another variety.

  • Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Pinto beans, rinsed and drained

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