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Minestrone with White Beans and Savoy Cabbage


Medium bowl with white beans and dice carrots,celery and green bean, with grated Parmesan cheese

Marcella Hazan’s Minestrone alla Romagnola is a classic. We streamlined it a little, and also tried it in a slow cooker with great results (see note, below). Your bag of Rancho Gordo Marcella cannellini beans will feel right at home among all the fresh vegetables.

  • 1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, or 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage or green cabbage
  • 4 cups vegetable or beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Parmesan rind (optional)
  • ½ cup canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked Rancho Gordo white heirloom beans, such as Marcella beans, or Cranberry beans
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Serves 6
  1. In a large stockpot, warm the ¼ cup oil and the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and celery; cook for 2 minutes. Add the potato; cook for another 2 minutes. Add the green beans and zucchini; cook for 2 minutes more. Add the cabbage; cook until wilted, another 5 or so minutes.
  2. Add the broth, water, cheese rind (if using), and tomatoes; stir well and season with salt. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the cabbage is almost falling apart, about 2 hours. Stir in the beans and cook for another 30 or so minutes.
  3. Just before serving, remove the cheese rind (if using). Swirl in the grated cheese; season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

SLOW COOKER METHOD If you prefer to start with dried beans and cook them in the slow cooker: Add ½ pound dried beans (picked over and rinsed) to the slow cooker and add water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting until the beans are just beginning to soften, about 2 hours. Meanwhile, saute all the vegetables as directed above. Add the sauteed vegetables to the slow cooker along with the broth, water, tomatoes, and cheese rind (if using). Cover and continue cooking until the beans are soft and the soup is very flavorful, 2 to 3 more hours.


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