It was during a summer trip to Italy with my family that I first tasted the authentic Minestrone Soup. We were visiting our neighbors who had moved to Tuscany a few years back. As we sat in their rustic kitchen, the aroma of simmering vegetables and herbs wafted through the air. Our host, Maria, shared stories of her grandmother preparing this soup using fresh ingredients from their garden. Each spoonful was a burst of flavors, and I knew I had to bring this recipe back home.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with various ingredients, taking inspiration from different regions of Italy. But the essence remains the same – a hearty, nutritious, and flavorful soup that brings warmth and comfort. Today, I’m excited to share my version of this classic dish with you.
How to Prepare Hearty Minestrone Soup
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3/4 cup of diced onion
- 1/2 cup of sliced carrots
- 1/4 cup of chopped celery
- 32 ounces of chicken stock
- 19 ounces of white cannellini beans
- 14 1/2 ounces of diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups of potato chunks
- 1/2 cup of thinly sliced cabbage
- 2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/2 cup of elbow pasta
- 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium flame. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté until they soften, roughly 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken stock, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, parsley, tomato concentrate, garlic, and salt. Allow the mixture to come to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, which should take about an hour.
- Add the pasta to the pot and continue simmering for another 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve hot in bowls, sprinkling each serving with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.
What is the origin of Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone Soup traces its roots back to Italy. It’s a traditional Italian soup that combines a variety of vegetables with pasta or rice. The ingredients can vary based on the region and season, but the essence of the soup remains consistent – a hearty and nutritious meal.
Can I use other vegetables in this Soup?
Absolutely! Minestrone is versatile, and you can add or substitute vegetables based on your preference or what’s in season. Common additions include zucchini, green beans, and peas.
Is Minestrone Soup vegetarian?
While the traditional Minestrone Soup is vegetarian, some variations use chicken or beef stock. Always check the ingredients or ask the chef if you’re aiming for a vegetarian version.
How can I make my Minestrone Soup thicker?
If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can blend a portion of the soup and mix it back in, or add more pasta or rice. Another option is to simmer the soup for a longer duration, allowing it to reduce and thicken.
Can I freeze Minestrone Soup?
Yes, Minestrone Soup freezes well. Store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove.
What’s the best pasta for Minestrone Soup?
Elbow macaroni is commonly used, but you can also opt for other small pasta shapes like ditalini, orzo, or small shells. The choice of pasta can add a unique texture to your soup.
How long does this Soup last in the fridge?
When stored in an airtight container, Minestrone Soup can last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Always reheat only the portion you plan to consume to maintain its freshness.
Can I use dried beans instead of canned beans?
Yes, you can use dried beans. However, they need to be soaked overnight and cooked before adding them to the soup. Using canned beans is a quicker alternative, but both options are delicious.
What can I serve with Minestrone Soup?
Minestrone Soup pairs well with crusty bread, a fresh salad, or even a slice of garlic bread. You can also serve it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor.
Is This Soup gluten-free?
While the vegetables and beans in Minestrone Soup are gluten-free, the pasta typically contains gluten. If you’re following a gluten-free diet, ensure you use gluten-free pasta or skip the pasta altogether.
- 4 tablespoons margarine
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 32 ounce container chicken broth
- 1 19 ounce can cannellini beans
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can stewed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups cubed potatoes
- 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup elbow macaroni
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Melt margarine in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery; sauté until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage, parsley, tomato paste, garlic, and salt; bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Add pasta and simmer for 30 minutes more. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.