No soup accommodates the season better then minestrone. You can add or leave out vegetables depending on what's in season, what's in the fridge, or what vegetables you like to eat.

Italian Minestrone

Makes 8 cups

  • YOU WILL NEED:
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 cups total green vegetables such as beans or zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons (plus extra to drizzle) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme dried
  • 1 teaspoon oregano dried
  • ½ teaspoon basil dried
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 15-ounce can diced tomatoes and their juice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 15-ounce can beans such as kidney, navy, or cannellini
  • ½ cup pasta, small shape such as ditalini or small shells, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded for garnish
  1. Prep the veggies. Wash all the veggies. Peel the onion, garlic, and carrots. Mince the garlic, and chop the other veggies into bite-sized pieces. Rinse the beans in the colander with cold water, and drain.
  2. Start cooking. Pour oil into a large pot, set the heat to medium-low, and add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and herbs. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft, stirring often.
  3. Add ingredients. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with their juice, chicken broth, drained beans, and green vegetables. Turn the heat up to high. As soon as the soup boils, turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Cook the pasta. Turn the heat to high again. When the soup boils, carefully add the pasta—don’t splash yourself! Stir so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and let the soup cook. After 8 minutes, test a noodle. If it’s firm and tender, the soup is done.
  5. Add the finishing touches. Stir in the salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, and top each with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan for extra flavor.

Excerpted from our cookbook, You're the Chef, by Lisa Cherkasky. American Girl Publishing, 2016. All rights reserved.