Minestrone can take a bit longer than to make than many soups, but it’s a great way to clean out your freezer or vegetable drawer. I based the soup loosely on the Minestrone from Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, but added my own spin with potatoes, carrots, frozen lima beans, red peppers, hot peppers (for winter warming kick!), frozen shredded zuchinni, some small tri-color shell pastas I found at the back of the cupboard, green olives (last minute addition for extra salty-fatty flavor), and some fresh parsley. The real key to minestrone is not what you put into it, but how cook it. Remember the harder -to-softer vegetable cooking rule, and don’t even think about adding the pasta until the soup tastes just like you want it to, and the potatoes (or your firmest vegetable) is almost done cooking.