Cook's Illustrated Recipes»Soups»Italian»Vegetables»Classic Minestrone Recipe

By adding a piece of cheese rind or pancetta to water, we created an excellent minestrone without the bother of homemade stock.

The Problem

Minestrone (literally, "big soup" in Italian) is generally not an easy undertaking, given that most recipes ask you to make your own stock and to chop at least 10 kinds of vegetables.

The Goal

A soup with a harmonious balance of flavors that can be made without spending hours making stock or standing at the chopping block.

The Solution

Eliminate both bold and bland vegetables, add a rind of Parmesan or some pancetta to the pot to compensate for the lack of stock, and liven it all up with a dollop of pesto.