Here in the markets, some vegetable sellers cut up vegetable to make a minestrone mixture which you buy by weight. A couple of days ago, I saw one vendor chipping up radicchio to add to a tray already laden with cauliflower, carrots, onions, shelled beans, and more.
There’s always a debate about the beans. Some people like them; others hate them. I hear people ask, “Do you put beans in your minestrone?” or “Do you have minestrone without beans?” I personally like it with beans, and I often add more if I buy from the market.
And buying from the market is a great way to get variety in your minestrone. Another real boon is frozen minestrone mix. I didn’t buy it for years because it seemed a bit ridiculous to buy a bunch of cut-up vegetables frozen together. I’ve since learned that it’s a great thing to have in the freezer. On a cold day when soup is in order, it’s wonderful to be able to pull out a package, add this and that from the vegetable crisper, a piece of sausage or pancetta, and some fresh herbs like bay leaf or thyme.