Minestrone

Minestrone

Minestrone is a famous soup not only in Italy but also in other parts of the world. My mother cooks it almost every week in winter, when we long for something hot, tasty and nutritious to eat. I like it so much because contains so many tasty vegetables from the garden or the market.

But minestrone is unlike other vegetable soups that have set ingredients. The characteristic of Italian Minestrone is that it’s made always with small chunky pieces of vegetable and beans and very rarely creamy, even though some friend of mine said to me that their mothers blend it.

Rarely you will see it with pasta but only with small shapes (like ditalini) and cooked adding it 10/15 min before serving it, so the pasta will not overcook 🙂

No two minestrone soups are alike. You can cook it any way you like, but for the tastiest soup, you must use a mix of fresh vegetables, beans and herbs.

Here’s my mother’s chunky minestrone recipe, which you must absolutely try.

How to Cook Minestrone

Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbs

1 medium-sized onion, chopped finely

2 Celery stalks, sliced thinly

2 Carrots, sliced thinly

3 Potatoes cut in cubes

3 courgettes cut in cubes

150 gr of leek roughly sliced

150 gr of cauliflower in small florets

200 gr of tomatoes cut in cubes

200 gr frozen peas or any legume of your choice

Few mushroom sliced (Optional)

Parsley sprigs

Few basil leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (Optional)

Directions

Heat the EVOO in a large pot. Put the onion, celery and carrots. You can add some finely chopped garlic if you want, but in Italy, we don’t usually put garlic. Stir-fry on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the “soffritto” is softened.

Now add the courgettes, potatoes, leeks, cauliflowers, tomatoes, peas and mushrooms. Add cold water until it covers all the vegetables and let it boil.

Now adjust with salt and let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked, it will take roughly 45 min.

To finish, add parsley, finely chopped basil, a drop of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and freshly ground pepper. Your Minestrone is ready!

Serve hot or warm with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese if it suits your taste.

All the vegetables that are used in this recipe can be substituted with the one of your choice. Suggested alternatives are: pumpkins, green beans, broccoli, spinach, beetroot, cabbage, borlotti or cannellini beans.

Do you grate parmiggiano often for your pasta? Don’t throw the leftover crust. Preserve it for the next time that you will make minestrone.

Just add this to the vegetables when the minestrone starts to boil and you will see that the taste of the minestrone will improve.

Buon appetito!

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