1 large white onion, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely sliced
2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1 15oz cans of chick peas with juice
1 15oz can light red kidney beans with juice
1 15oz can cannellini beans
four cups of homemade chicken broth
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
1 Tbs Basil
1 tsp Tarragon
1 tsp Marjoram
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp sage
kosher salt and cracked pepper
Chopped or shredded chicken
12 oz small shells
shredded asiago type cheese to go on top
Throw all of this into a big pot together and simmer it until the vegetables are soft.
My friend Wendy gave me a batch of minestrone when we moved and I just loved it. The broth was perfection itself. So I asked her for the recipe and then adapted it, because I can't actually follow a recipe to save my life.
I added a few ingredients, changed some proportions, and even took out the pasta altogether. What you see above is what I came up with.
I left "pasta" in the recipe, because minestrone has it, traditionally. And note that the cayenne makes the broth a tad spicy, so that could be another optional ingredient.
But I really like all that flavor!