Marcella Hazan’s recipes have inspired so many of us in the kitchen and I think it’s safe to say that we’re better cooks because of her. Until I read her Classic Italian Cooking, I had a pretty cavalier attitude about throwing everything into a pot and seeing what happens. Marcella’s focus on quality ingredients and letting them do the work sounded a little pedantic on paper but when I cooked something simple, drizzled it with my best olive oil and tasted, I realized these Italians might actually be on to something. I’m 100% on board with having fewer fabulous ingredients and letting them shine.
This soup is our version of Marcella’s classic minestrone. I believe your new bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella cannellini beans would feel right at home among all the fresh vegetables and I think your house will feel and smell like home once this is simmering on low in your kitchen.
Note: While one vegetable is cooking, peel and cut up another.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
- 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
- 1 lb zucchini, cubed
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 4 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- 2/3 cup canned plum tomatoes, with juice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Marcella beans
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- In a large stockpot, mix the oil, butter and sliced onion. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the onion wilts and becomes pale golden, but not darker.
- Add the diced carrots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the celery and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage and cook until wilted, another 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the broth, water, cheese rind (if using), and tomatoes with juice. Salt very lightly. Stir thoroughly. Cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. When the soup has cooked 2 1/2 hours, add the previously cooked Marcella beans. Stir and cook another 30 minutes.
- Just before serving, remove the cheese rind (if using). Swirl in the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper.