Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Zucchini can be substituted for half or all of the summer squash; see related content for information on seeding these types of squash. If desired, serve minestrone with grated Parmesan cheese and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium summer squash , seeded and chopped (see note)
6 garlic cloves , minced
1 onion , chopped fine
1 carrot , peeled and chopped
6 medium tomatoes , cored, seeded, and chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup white wine
8 ounces green beans , trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 (16-ounce) cans navy beans , drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups loosely packed basil leaves , bruised (see below) and chopped rough
1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook squash until golden and just tender, about 5 minutes. Add half of garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.
2. Add remaining oil, onion, and carrot to empty Dutch oven and cook until onion is golden, about 8 minutes. Add half of tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices have evaporated and tomatoes begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add remaining garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and simmer, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add green beans, navy beans, thyme, broth, and remaining tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until green beans are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in reserved squash and basil and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Make Ahead: The soup can be prepared through step 2 and then refrigerated for 2 days, with the squash reserved separately. When ready to serve, bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat and proceed with step 3.
Bruising Is Best: To release the basilâ€™s flavorful oils, we bruise the leaves and add them to the pot just before serving this soup. Place the basil leaves in a zipper-lock bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap. Gently pound the basil with a rolling pin or meat mallet