Minestrone Soup, Soiree Style!

Ingredients

  • Large onion
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • Handful of flat parsley
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • Cooked beans or a can of red, brown or white beans
  • Large jar of diced tomatoes
  • A couple of fresh tomatoes, if you have them
  • Rice, cooked ahead
  • ½ C Merlot or Chardonnay (optional)

Directions

  1. If you are using raw beans: Cover the beans with water and soak overnight. Drain the water off, rinse the beans well, recover them with water and adding a smidge of salt, bring to a boil then simmer for ~ 2 hours. Add more water if necessary, so that the beans stay covered but not drowned in water! Test for doneness and cook a bit more if necessary. The beans should be cooked but firm!
  2. Chop the onion, garlic, zucchini, carrots, and celery; toss with olive oil in a glass dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper; bake at 350 for 20 minutes, shaking the pan once at 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the cooked beans in the soup pot, or pour in beans, including the bean juice.
  4. Add the roasted veggies.
  5. In the meantime, cook up the rice: 2 parts water to 1 part rice; bring to a boil, turn to simmer for 15 minutes. Do not overcook!
  6. Flavor the soup with salt and pepper to your liking.
  7. Add the rice and raw tomatoes if you have some, bring to a boil, then turn to simmer for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add a bit more water, if you prefer a soupier consistency or leave it the way it is for a stew-like consistency. Add the wine now while in the final simmer stage.
  9. Flavor again, as needed.
  10. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese (optional!) with a side of crusty bread (also optional!).

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