Photo Courtesy of Madame Fromage
One of the best things you can add to minestrone, or any broth or stew, to give it an incredible depth of flavor and body is something you might otherwise have thrown away: the rind from a wedge of parmesan cheese.
We keep a bag in the refrigerator just for cheese rinds, so we know where to find them when minestrone time rolls around. Just bury the rind in a broth or stew that's going to cook for a while. Most of it will melt into the broth, but you will want to retrieve the small rubbery mass that's left before you serve it. All of the flavor will have gone from the cheese rind into your soup, so that last bit can be thrown away. But...
Never throw away another rind--it's the best garbage you can put in your soup!