Minestrone (p. 128). I like minestrone soup but I've never made it. I actually really like vegetable soup and the recipe looked excellent. I was motivated to make it because I stumbled upon Parmesan rinds at Whole Foods and knew they were an ingredient.
My mom asked where I thought she could get Parmesan rinds since there are no Whole Foods in Iowa. I told her that I imagined that anywhere that actually cuts their own cheese would have rinds left over from their Parmesan (although you might have to ask).
The recipe has a LOT of ingredients but wasn't very difficult. Two slices of bacon were rendered in some olive oil. Onions, carrots, celery, cabbage, chard, garlic, a little rosemary, basil, and parsley were cooked in the fat until tender (the recipe only took three pieces of chard so I used the rest to make another batch of Creamy pasta with tomatoes and chard).
A can of tomatoes were added, along with a can of cannelloni beans, some salt, and a chunk of Parmesan rind. TEN CUPS of chicken stock were then added. That is a LOT of chicken stock. A cup of elbow macaroni was added, the soup was cooked for a while, and the soup was done!
How was it? Very tasty and very easy. I thought it was too thick (which is absolutely mind-boggling when it has ten cups of stocks but there were a lot of ingredients) so I added more stock when I heated it up. It made a lot of soup and terrific leftovers. I absolutely adore soup, though, so maybe I'm biased.