Monday night is soup night at our house. Blanca works late and comes home hungry but not wanting a full meal. Soup is the solution. This week we have my parents and brother visiting, so my mom kindly offered to make the soup. I asked for French Onion and she looked in the Joy of Cooking. The soup was delicious. But, the Joy of Cooking said it made 8 servings. They obviously meant "cups" of soup rather than bowls. After my mom, my dad, and my brother each had a very modest serving, there was just one left. So I saved it for Blanca and went looking in the freezer. There was a single-serving of frozen minestrone soup I made last week, so I thawed that. No problem. But then when I went to put Blanca's bowl laden with graded gruyere and bread under the broiler, I got jealous. So I threw some on top of my minestrone, and put that under the broiler too. Now, the minestrone was good from the start, but the results were really fantastic and I'm not at all sure why it's never occured to me to put in the best part of French Onion Soup to other soups before!
Minestrone Soup with French Onion Topping
2 celery ribs
1/2 head cabbage
1 can cannelini beans
6-7 cups homemade stock or broth
6 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz grated gruyere cheese
4-6 slices bread (I prefer French or Sourdough)
Slice the carrotts, celery ribs, and onion. Saute in olive oil the bottom of a big soup pot for about 5 minutes. Slice the zucchini and add. Saute for another 3-5 minutes. Chop the cabbage and add. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add stock or broth, tomatoe sauce, beans, and parmesan rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. A few minutes before you are ready to serve, ladel the soup into oven-safe bowls, sprinkly lightly with gruyere, then cut bread into 1" squares and lay over top, then sprinkle with more gruyere. Set the bowls onto a baking pan and then place them under a high broiler for 3-5 minutes, until browned. Remove and serve immediately.