Minestrone soup to die for




1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, pared and coarsely chopped
2 potatoes, cut into ¾-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped
½ pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
Small zucchini, cut into ¾-inch cubes
½ pound cabbage, coarsely shredded
28-ounce can plum tomatoes
1 ½ cups water
3 ½ cups beef broth
1 ½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon rosemary
1 bay leaf
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Heat oil and butter in stock pot at medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add carrots and potatoes and saute 5 minutes. Add celery and green beans and saute 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini and saute 3 minutes. Add cabbage and cook for 1 minute. Puree tomatoes in a food processor and add to stock pot along with water and beef broth. Stir in basil, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary and bay leaf. Heat to boiling, then simmer, covered, on low for 2 hours. Remove bay leaf. If desired, serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Yield: about 12 cups.