Minestrone is one of the classic Italian soups. It is thick and rich and because it has no set recipe you can adjust it per your taste. Typically this soup includes vegetables in season, some type of meat, beans and sometimes includes pasta like orzo or rice.
Below is the recipe from my home to your table, but feel free to substitute ingredients to make it your own.
What you will need:
1 medium carrot - diced
1 large celery stalk - diced
if you like onions: 1 small white or yellow onion - diced, since we don't eat onions in my family, I used quarter of a medium sweet bell pepper (orange, but you can use red, yellow or green), all diced
2 table spoons of really good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 ground turkey (I used all ground, but you can use breast ground meat or chicken or ground lean beaf 8% fat or less). If you want vegetarian version, use 1/4 cup of orzo pasta (it looks like rice but it is pasta), or use rice.
1 can cannelini beans - rinsed and drained
1 can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes in its own juice
2 cups of chicken stock (if you are using beef for your minestrone you need beef stock, and if you are going vegetarian, use the vegetable stock)
1 can of artichoke hearts
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon of Herbs de Provance
1 teaspoon of finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup of freshly grated parmagiano reggiano
Saute carrots, celery, and bell pepper in a medium hot pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionaly to prevent burning. Season the veggies with a pinch of salt and black pepper to soften the vegetables. Add the meat, break it up a little in the pot and allow for a bit of browning, and season a bit more with salt (just a pinch will do). Then add tomatoes with all of their juice, stock, beans, artichoke hearts, bay leaf, herbs de Provance. Stir and lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 30 minutes. At the end, add chopped parsley and basil. Serve with the sprinkling of parmagiano reggiano and a toasted ciabatta bread. This should warm up your soul.