White Cabbage and Bean Minestrone

Packed with vitamins, proteins and fibre, this simple Italian winter minestrone adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's delightful Mediterranean Harvest is as nourishing a lunch or light dinner on a cold day as it is warming, comforting and delicious.
White Cabbage and Bean Minestrone

1 1/4 cups dried cannellini (white kidney) beans
4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large head of green cabbage, cored and chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup shell or tube pasta
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
fresh ground black pepper

To serve:

thick toasted slices of fresh crusty bread
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse the beans under cold running water and soak overnight covered in several inches of cold water. Drain and rinse, and place in a medium saucepan. Add 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are just tender. Drain and set aside along with the cooking liquid.

Heat a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the pan. Toss in the onion, carrot, celery and parsley, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in half the garlic and cook for another minute or so, until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until they have reduced a bit. Stir in the cabbage, then add the beans, the reserved cooking liquid, vegetable stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1/2 an hour.

Add the remaining garlic and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or until the beans are soft. Now add the pasta and cook until done, 10 minutes or to desired teeth. Remove the soup from heat, discard the bay leaf, and season with salt and plenty of fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, toast bread and add slices to the bottoms of wide shallow flat-bottomed soup or pasta bowls. Ladle soup over the toast, scatter fresh grated Parmesan cheese over top, and serve immediately. Serves 8.

Other winter bean and vegetable soups you might enjoy:

Chickpea and cabbage soup
Romano bean and vegetable soup


Ricki said...

Sounds like a great winter soup! Can you believe I've never made minestrone?

Jamie said...

nice blog!

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go veg!

Denise F said...

That looks delicious! I'll have to give this a try.

Siri said...

Wowy! the dish looks so yummy and as you said - 'packed with good stuff' Lisa.. :))


Usha said...

Sounds wonderful, I am looking forward to trying this soon :-)

Kevin said...

I like the sound of using cabbage in a soup.

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Seeker said...

Fantastic looking recipe. Looks very good. The photo makes me hungry now.

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