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Homemade Minestrone Soup - special additions?

Since it's the middle of winter, and I still can't quite kick my wintertime cold, homemade soup sounds perfect to me. I'm making homemade minestrone tonight and was wondering what various ingredients my fellow chowhounds add to theirs to make it special & unique? I typically use fresh zuccini & greenbeans, as well as some summercrisp corn, and lots of fresh grated parmesan. Would love to hear your suggestions for a super soup! Ciao, hounds!

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  1. Small pasta and good bread and Extra Virgin olive oil.

    1. I always add freshly chopped Italian parsley to minestrone soup.

      1. White kidney beans (aka cannellini beans), maybe a little potato for heft and some fresh chopped basil if I have it on hand.

        1. Forget the fagiolini (green beans) and zucchini. Use cipolle (onions), aglio (garlic), olive oil, lentils, cece (garbanzos, chick peas), cannellini beans, 28-oz. canned whole tomatoes (to be crushed by hand like Mario Batali of 'Molto Mario' does) along with the tomato juice, precooked Italian salsiccia sliced or crumbled, ditalini, and lots of fresh flatleaf parsley (Italian stuff). Use some chicken stock and vino for the liquid. Add a little crushed peperoncini (hot pepper).

          Buon appetito!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChiliDude

            I just discovered Barilla mini penne, it's perfect for minestrone, especially for leftovers as it doesn't expand in the soup overnight (it's ribbed). I also add carrots, celery, escarole, cabbage and leeks. I saute the vegetables in olive oil and bacon fat. Season with oregano, basil, parsley, salt and pepper, parmesan, thyme, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and worcestshire. You don't have to use all of these, you can pick and choose.

          2. When I am ready to drink the soup I drizzle some truffle oil on the top (drizzle on my bowl, not for the entire pot) and it makes the soup taste divine