I adapted this recipe from one I found in a vegetarian cookbook that I’ve used for years. The recipe can use fresh or canned vegetables — whatever you prefer.
- 1 1/2 cups dried kidney beans*
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large red potatoes, cleaned and cut into large bite-size pieces
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 medium zucchini
- 1 cup fresh string beans*
- 1 medium leek, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped *
- Large pinch of celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup long-grain rice
- 5 medium tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Soak the beans overnight in enough water to keep them covered then drain them and put them in a large kettle with 4 quarts of water.
- Add the garlic, onion and the olive oil then simmer
- for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, zucchini, string beans and leek to the pot.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper.
- Add the parsley, celery seed, basil and oregano.
- Simmer for another 45 minutes.
- Add the cabbage and the rice to the soup and simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Add more water if the soup is getting too thick for you.
- About 5 minutes before the soup is ready to serve, add the tomatoes.
Have a small bowl of Parmesan cheese set out so people can sprinkle it on top of the soup if they wish.
*Note: For the fresh vegetables, you can substitute canned kidney beans, canned tomatoes, canned string beans. I’ve substituted these when I’ve been in a hurry and the soup is still delicious. You can also substitute fresh herbs for dried herbs and vice versa.