3 medium carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium sweet onions, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 pound green beans, ends snipped off and chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 head of cabbage, finely chopped
5 fresh medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup olive oil
8 cups beef broth, homemade or canned
2 cups of Italian plum tomatoes, fresh-chopped or canned
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups cannellini beans, canned or dried (cooked)
Beef soup bone (optional)
1/2 pound small pasta, cooked and drained
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Wash and chop all vegetables. In a large soup pot, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, celery and sauté until tender. Add the soup bone, cabbage, remaining vegetables, liquids, tomatoes, basil, sugar and salt. Heat to boiling, then reduce to a low heat and simmer for 4-5 hours. Meanwhile, cook the pasta and drain. Set aside. Add the beans and cook the soup another 30 minutes. Remove the soup bone, stir in the cooked pasta, ladle the soup into bowls and serve with shaved Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.
Note: This is a great summertime soup with fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden. While the soup bone is optional, it adds a great flavor!
My grandfather had a very LARGE garden, and it was totally organic! I can remember him carrying in large bushels overflowing with vegetables, giving them to my grandmother, and then listening to her complain of all the work he had given her to do! But, oh, the wonderful food that she would cook from his labor would bring smiles from all of us. I do believe that the smiles and praises made her work worthwhile. She found contentment in her reward, and he found contentment in his.