1(15-ounce) can cannellini beansdrained and rinsed
1(15-ounce) canred kidney beansdrained and rinsed
2cupsuncooked ditalini pasta
5ouncesfresh kalestems removed and chopped
1/2cupfresh parsleyfinely chopped
Juice from one lemon
salt + pepperto taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheeseto serve
Fresh chopped cilantroto serve
Cook the mirepoix. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or stockpot (I used my 8-quart stockpot with plenty of room) warm 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook the vegetables (aka mirepoix) low and slow for an additional 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute or so.
Herbs and tomato paste. Add the dried oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, red chili flakes, and tomato paste to the vegetables and mix well to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Green beans + canned tomatoes. Add the green beans and diced tomatoes (with juices). Mix well to combine.
Add the vegetable broth. Add the vegetable broth to the pot and increase heat to high. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Simmer, covered, for approximately 15 minutes.
Stir in the drained and rinsed beans. Add the cannellini and red kidney beans to the pot. Stir well to combine.
Prepare the pasta (see notes). In the meantime, bring a separate large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook your ditalini pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Add the more delicate vegetables. Once the longer-cooking root vegetables and green beans are cooked, add the chopped summer squash, kale, parsley, and lemon juice to the pot. Stir well to combine.
Season to taste. Season soup with additional salt, pepper, or herbs, if desired.
Serve. Fill the desired number of bowls with approximately 1/2 cup cooked ditalini pasta and ladle with soup. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh chopped cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
Cook the mirepoix. In a large saucepot warm 1-2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook the vegetables (aka mirepoix) low and slow for an additional 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute or so.
Herbs + tomato paste. Add the dried oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, and red chili flakes. Mix well to combine.
Transfer mixture to crockpot. Transfer the cooked mirepoix to a large slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the pasta, cilantro, and parmesan cheese), cover, and cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 5-6 hours on low heat.
Cook noodles. Approximately 20 minutes before serving, I recommend boiling your noodles separately and adding to each bowl as desired.
If you notice any brown bits stuck on the bottom of your pot deglaze with a little white wine or water. You want those brown bits! They equal flavor!
I almost always cook my pasta separately to prevent the noodles from getting soggy. If you prefer to cook your pasta directly in the soup, that's fine, too. Simply add the noodles 5-8 minutes before desired serving time.
Feel free to use any pasta you like! I love ditalini pasta for soups because it holds its shape well and is easily scooped with a spoon.
Traditional Minestrone soup recipes were used as a way to use up old, leftover vegetables. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand!
To make Dairy-free/Gluten-free: Do not garnish with Parmesan cheese.
To make Gluten-Free: Substitute the noodles for your favorite gluten-free noodle or add rice instead.