There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of vegetable soup recipes. Mostly because you can put any vegetable into a broth and call it “vegetable soup”! Many people don’t like soups with whole vegetables, but I think that may be because the only type they’ve ever tried is canned. And, in my humble opinion, there are not a lot of things worse than canned vegetables! (Canned tomatoes and canned beans are an exception to that.)
This soup has fresh beautiful vegetables and the flavors and aromas will entice anyone to return for seconds. My family begs me to make this. If there is a particular vegetable that is in this soup that you don’t care for…just leave it out…or maybe substitute in another veggie.
The night before, place beans in a large saucepan and cover with cold water, about 3 inches above the beans. Let soak overnight.
Drain the beans, return to the pan and add enough cold water to again cover the beans by 3 inches.
Simmer until the beans are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
In a large soup or stock pot, heat the 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.
Stir in tomatoes or tomato paste. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Purée 1/3 of the beans in a food processor or blender.
Bring soup to a boil and immediately turn down to simmer.
Cover and cook the soup until the vegetables are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Add the remaining beans to the soup and cook until heated through.
Feel free to add cooked rice or short tube pasta to the soup if desired. This will add a nice texture and make this more like the classic "Minestrone" you may be used to eating.
This soup is almost better the next day! Just bring it to a boil then turn down to low and simmer until heated through. Make this on Sunday, then cool and refrigerate and have it for dinner on Monday. (That is, if you can keep your family from eating it all right away!)