I had some trouble finding the right ingredients in Texas, but I found replacements that will work. There is a lot of chopping and cutting so it's best to get all that done and ready first to make the job easier.
1 Leek, use only the white and light green part. Cut it in quarters and then slice it in 1/4 inch pieces.
1 Bunch Kale, after steaming it, remove the large stems and cut it into 1/2 inch slices across the leaves.
1 Cabbage, core it and slice thin about 1/4 of the head.
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Carrots and 2 Celery stalks, cut on a slant into 1/2 inch pieces.
7 Red skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
1 Zucchini, cut into 1/2 inches pieces.
1 cup Fresh green beans cut on an angle in 1 inch pieces.
1 Large can plum tomatoes, chopped
Rind of Italian cheese, prosciutto heal or substitute
Salt and pepper, bay leaf, pinch of crushed red pepper and vegetable stock
Start by preparing the Cannellini beans. I couldn't find dry Cannellini beans so I used a can of Goya Brand Beans plus the juice. If you have dried beans, cover them with water by 2 inches in a bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours. Drain and bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add beans, 1 large onion, bay leaf. Boil about 1 hour, drain and remove the onion and bay leaf. Keep one cup of the bean water to use in the soup. If you use dried beans, of course you would have to make them the day before along with the stock.
Minestrone soup starts with a base called Soffritto.You will need 1/3 cup of good Olive Oil, 1 large piece of celery, 1 carrot and 1 large onion, cut all very fine. In a stock pot, heat the oil on low, add the veggies and cook until golden brown, stirring often.
Add leek and garlic, cook about 5 minutes until soft. Add the veggies, celery, carrots, potatoes, green beans, and zucchini. Cook until golden about another 5 minutes.
Now add the juice from the beans and 1 large can of plum tomatoes that you have chopped, cabbage, kale, stock (about a quart or more), cheese rind, pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a bay leaf.
It's time to add the prosciutto. I always buy the heal of the meat for soup but in Texas I couldn't find one. I did find sliced slow aged so I rolled it and tied it..and added it to the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat and cook for 1 hour.
If you use dried beans you would now add them and cook about 1 more hour or until all the beans and veggies are done. With the canned beans I had to use, I cooked my soup for 15 minutes longer and added the canned beans cooking for an added 10 minutes. I removed the cheese rind but left the prosciutto for flavor.
Tomorrow I'll add some Italian bread toasted in the oven with garlic butter. This recipe makes about 8 bowls of soup.