minestrone

Autumn flavors – Easy Minestrone recipe

minestroneMinestrone soup

Minestrone in Italian literally means ‘big soup’ and is considered a true staple in the Mediterranean diet. The cuisine that is best well-known in this country are normally the ones with humble beginnings which is fabulous because I am pretty poor myself {take a look at average salaries in Italy} yet I like to eat healthy (in theory). This dish is one of my personal favorites and as soon as it gets a little cooler, it finds its way as one of my autumn staples. Putting together what veggies you have, along with a bit of broth and pasta and you have a healthy dish that can feed your family – or at least me for at least a week.

Common ingredients normally include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes and there really is no set recipe for this soup. I normally use whatever veggies I pick up at the market that week and I always make sure to keep a few bottles of tomato puree and canned whole tomatoes in my house for days that inspire a huge pot-o-soup.

For someone who works a lot, this is super easy to make and what can be better than throwing a ton of vegetables in a pot and letting it simmer away into a deep-sea of goodness while pretending you are a maestro in the kitchen? Plus it makes great leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil/olio di olive
  • 1 cup chopped onion/cipolle
  • 1 leek/porri
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced/aglio
  • 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage (about 3 leaves), 1 teaspoon of oregano/salvia, oregano
  • 2 carrots washed and chopped/carote
  • 2 or three small potatoes peeled and cubed/ patate
  • 4 cups of chicken and vegetable broth/brodo
  • 2 cans of chopped plum tomatoes/ pomodori interi
  • 1 bottle or can of plain tomato sauce /sugo di pomodoro
  • 1/2 cup of pasta (short)
  • 1 or two cans of beans (I like Tuscan white beans, kidney beans or chickpeas)/fagioli
  • salt and pepper/sale e pepe

*save your Parmigiano cheese rinds to add to the pot

Instructions:

Get a big pot and throw in your olive oil, garlic, leek, carrots, onion, celery, bay leaf, oregano and simmer until the veggies are softened (takes about 10-15 minutes). Add tomatoes, Parmigiano rinds, potatoes, broth, beans and let simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes. You want to add your pasta about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve. Top with shredded parmesan (optional) and accompany with crusty bread, toasted and rubbed with raw garlic and a little olive oil & salt.

Voila you have yourself a pretty tasty, healthy and soup worthy of a pat on the back :).

Photo by David Loftus

I want to hear from you! What do you add to your minestrone? Share your tips below :)

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    • ggnitaly84

      Thanks Jennifer, you’ll have to let me know how it goes! Its pretty humid and warm in Florence as well but somehow my apartment seems to think its february (the perils of living in a Midieval building).

  1. Brad

    Chili peppers, naturally! Either habaneros for some brightness, chipotles for smoky depth, or Thai chilies for heat and minimal flavor. Because if someone could possibly be spicy, why not make it that way?

    (I’m sure all the nonne would kill me for that, but they’d hate my adulterations of ribolita even more!)

  2. itsahealthychange

    Yum! Just checked to see what veggies I have left from the week and it looks like I’ll be making a simple version tonight with onions, potatoes, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, and capsicum. What a great way to use up leftovers, thanks!


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