A week ago I cooked up a batch of dried borlotti beans that I had brought home from my favorite bean brokers, the Rancho Gordo (www.ranchogordo.com) stand (see my post, February 17, 2011) at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza market. Had a pasta dish, had a salad, and still had some beans left. So, I poured them into a big pan and added all the necessary veggies – a couple of carrots, a zucchini, a large onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, some frozen corn and peas, mushrooms, a red bell pepper, lima beans, a large can of diced tomatoes – to make a mammoth pot of kinda minestrone – I left out the bits of prosciutto or pancetta that would have made it authentic. Once the veggies had cooked a bit, I added some elbow macaroni (that I always have to make the go-to mac ‘n cheese for my currently vegetarian granddaughter) and a good bit of salt and pepper. It was 20 degrees outside and the big bowls of soup, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with a fresh grating of parmesan cheese couldn’t have been more delicious or more warming when supper rolled around.