I have several minestrone soups in my collection already. What propelled me to try a new one though, was the presence of cabbage.
CSA's are unpredictable, or at least our CSA is. Last year, we got just a little cabbage, at the end of the season. This year, we get a head of cabbage a week, which for us, is a lot of cabbage. I've had a hard time staying ahead it. Last year, we got tons and tons of carrots. Yesterday we got 4 small ones (and in general the bunches have been smaller). I've been buying carrots at the store to handle our winter carrot eating habit. That's just how a CSA goes, I guess. I think I'd take the carrots over the all the cabbage though.
Anyway, I was excited about this recipe, even though I was unsure of it. The recipe called for uncooked, un-soaked dried beans to be used, which just seemed like blasphemy to me. Could the beans possibly be cooked without pre-soaking them? I tried, and for the most part, they were fine. The garbanzos were a little hard still, but very edible, and I found that the next day, the consistency was just right for them. If you can, buy the beans in bulk so you can just buy as much as you need. I liked using the Parmesan cheese rind which had been hanging out in my fridge for quite a while, waiting for a recipe like this.
The kids tried this and I think they would have liked it, except for the fact that it was too spicy. Yes, I managed to make minestrone soup too spicy. I agreed with them too and found an alternative for them without any qualms (normally, they eat what we are eating, unless I know ahead of time they probably won't like it or it ends up being too spicy). I have adapted the recipe some to take this into account.
Additonally, I think this recipe easily could be adapted to a slow-cooker if you would want to experiment. This recipe is time intensive, but not much work. It just requires at least 2 1/2 hours of cooking time, so save for a cold day.
This recipes feeds 4 - 6.
Minestrone Soup--With Cabbage!!!!
adapted from Foodwriter97426 on food52.com
1 med onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c dry cannellini beans
1/4 c dry garbanzo beans
6 c water
1 bay leaf
2 t fresh thyme, chopped
2 t fresh rosemary, chopped
2 t fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 t salt
a dash of black pepper
1 c green beans, cut into 1 - 2 inch pieces (I use frozen)
1 c carrots, coarsely diced
1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)
2" piece Parmesan cheese rind
10 oz of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/3 c small pasta
1/2 c red wine
Saute onions in a little oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the beans, water and by leaf. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hrs or until beans are just barely tender. Add thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, dash of pepper, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, and cheese rind. Return to a boil, then cover and continue to simmer another 30 minutes over low heat. Add cabbage and pasta to the pot. If the soup looks dry at any time, add up to an additional 1 1/2 c of water. Simmer, uncovered, another 30 minutes. Add wine, and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve topped with some extra grated Parmesan.