A delicious, traditional Italian Minestrone soup is vegan friendly,Gluten Free, low in calories and packed with seasonal veggies. Perfect for winters.Minestrone soup is one of the great cultural exports of Italy. Although this minestrone recipe asks for meat broth, minestrone can also be served as a vegetarian dish. In fact, there is no one “right” way to cook minestrone. It should be a soup comprised of seasonal vegetables with beans as the core ingredient. Borlotti, or Roman, beans are traditional, but for this minestrone soup recipe you can use white kidney beans or cannellini beans instead. Another option – if you’re going for a really rustic, rural Italian serving strategy – is to serve the minestrone in the cheese crust left over from your parmigiano-reggiano, although ordinary bowls work just as well.The origins of minestrone soup actually pre-date the Roman Republic itself. The Latin-speaking tribes which would later conquer Italy and the rest of Europe ate a soup of vegetables and spelt flour so thick that it may as well have been porridge. The arrival in Italy of potatoes and tomatoes from the Americas added a further dimension to the traditional vegetable soup, and the two have since become inseparable additions to this mainstay of Italian cuisine. Minestrone is often considered exemplary of the Italian tradition of cucina povera, which literally translates to “poor kitchen”. Minestrone soup was a stalwart of the Italian peasant diet for centuries, and continues to be to this day.Minestrone soup recipes vary widely from region to region, all the way across Italy. In some areas, meat, rice, or pasta would be added to the minestrone, while minestrone alla Genovese, from Liguria, makes heavy use of herbs and pesto. This minestrone recipe is from the Emilio-Romagna region of Northern Italy, and features all the usual suspects of Northern Italian cucina povera: zucchini, onion, carrots and celery, and the aim is to end up with a dense, mellow soup that tastes of every ingredient, without any individual vegetable dominating the palate.
To achieve this, it is best to follow the intervals dictated by the recipe, adding the vegetables one at a time to allow their flavors to properly mingle. The soup should be sitting on low heat, and while one vegetable is cooking, you can be more time-efficient by preparing the next in line. It is important to always sauté the onions first, as this provides the essential underlying flavor to be imparted to each vegetable as it enters the pot. The carrots, as the hardest of the vegetables in this minestrone recipe, should go second, and the addition of vegetables follows logically from there. While you can prepare all the vegetables before cooking your minestrone, this use of a Henry T. Ford-style production line makes it easier to stick to the indicated intervals, which is the real secret to minestrone brimming with complex, intricate flavors.
Although this minestrone recipe is a nourishing, filling dish on its own, it can be served with a side of garlic bruschetta and paired with a robust Italian red wine. Try Chianti Classico or Sangiovese, which some chefs even add to the soup itself. Be careful adding wine to minestrone, however. A mere half cup added around the same time as you add your beans should be enough to enhance the multitude of flavors already present in your Minestrone alla Romagnola.
Best Homemade Italian Minestrone Soup Recipe
- Zucchini ( diced) - 400-500 gm
- Diced carrots- 1 cup
- Diced potatoes- 2 cups
- Onion ( chopped into small pieces)- 1 cup
- Frozen or fresh green peas- 100 gm
- Shredded cabbage- 2 cups
- Celery ( diced)-1 cup
- Cooked white kidney beans- 1½ cup
- Plum Tomatoes- ⅔ cup
- Butter- 3 tbsp
- Virgin Olive Oil-5 tbsp
- Parmigiano-reggiano Cheese-1/2 cup
- Salt- To Taste
- Whole black pepper- 7
- Water- 2 cups
- Homemade Meat Broth-2 cups
- Trim ends of each zucchini. Finely dice them.
- Choose a large saucepan that can accommodate all the ingredients. Put butter and oil, heat it. In the meanwhile chop onions into small pieces. Fry them in the uncovered saucepan over medium heat till it becomes colored a pale gold. Don't over-fry.
- Dice carrots, potatoes, celery. Shred the cabbage.
- Add diced carrots to the saucepan with fried onions. Fry 2-3 minutes, stirring twice.
- Add 1 cup of diced celery. Stir occasionally. Fry 3 minutes.
- Add diced potatoes. ( again fry 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally).
- Add green peas to the saucepan. After 2-3 minutes add the diced zucchini. Stir from time to time. ( 3-4 min)
- Add shredded cabbage and cook for another 5-6 minutes.
- Now add Chicken broth or Beef Broth( even vegetable broth will be good), salt, whole black pepper, fine Italian tomatoes with their juice. Mix all the ingredients.
- Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and cook 1 hour.
- When the soup is cooked, add white kidney beans and cook for another 20 minutes.Cook until the consistency is dense enough.
- Minestrone will never be thin and watery. If the soup is getting too thick ,you can dilute it a bit with your homemade broth or just boiled water.
- Serve with grated Parmigiano-reggiano Cheese.
The soup is even better when reheated the next day.
You can refrigerate the soup up to 1 week.