12 cups chicken broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-in chunks
1 zucchini, chopped
1 summer squash, chopped
2 potatoes, diced
1 bag (8 oz) baby spinach
1/2 Cup basil, chopped
2 Cups cooked rice*
*I reccommend Trader Joe's "Brown Rice Medley" which involves long grain brown rice, black barley, and daikon radish seeds)
8 oz (1 package) bacon, chopped (supposed to be half proscuitto and half pancetta, you can do that if you're fancy.)
1 Cup white wine
1 can cannellini (white) beans
Grated parmesan (I'm into Trader Joe's "Creamy Black Pepper Parm" right now)
1. Right off the bat, forget two ingredients, the carrots (2, diced) and the small green cabbage (sliced). (I didn't miss them but can't hurt.)
2. Heat oil in soup pot over med high heat. Enter bacon. (I like that, I'm gonna start doing stage directions in recipes.) Cook until lightly brown/crispy, 7-10 minutes.
3. Enter squash, zucchini, potatoes, onion, garlic (and carrots if using). (Recommended: chop everything the day before and store in fridge. Makes life easier.) Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
4. Realize you have completely forgotten the onions. Hastily chop and saute them separately, then throw in. This step not recommended.
5. Enter tomatoes, cook 5 minutes longer.
6. Pour in chicken broth! Pour in wine! Realize your Le Creuset is barely large enough to hold everything. Thank the gods that it didn't overflow. (Use a soup pot.)
8. Add rice, beans, and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Impulsively throw in a bay leaf. Panic, read everything online about whether or not bay works in minestrone, fish out bay leaf and throw away. (Exit Bay Leaf, Stage Left.) (You don't need to do this either.)
10. Simmer 10 more minutes.
11. Let cool off completely and then put in fridge to chill.
12. Get hungry and eat it warm, with grated parmesan on top. (Recommended: I've now had it both ways and I think it's better warm than cold. Go figure.)