Have you ever been in an Italian restaurant wondering what to order as you didn’t know exactly what you had on the menu? And does the word “minestrone” sound familiar to you? No? Shortly hereafter we shall together discover little cuisine secrets of famous Italian chefs (a.k.a. mamas mias’) and try to recreate a home-made soup feeling, with a slightly personal touch.
What is Minestrone Soup
According to Wikipedia, minestrone soup is an Italian cuisine creation based on the seasonal vegetables and meat. It is basically a full hearty meal and can be seen as comfort food. The word itself has potentially 2 Latin origin meanings:
Minestra, which means soup or minestrare, which means “to serve”.
How to Make a Famous Traditional Minestrone Soup?!
Traditionally, minestrone soup can be prepared with chicken, bean or beef stock and can be of thick or broth-like clear consistency, with large chunks of vegetables, meat and pasta or rice.
There is no fixed recipe but rather regional variations of the soup that can be meat or vegetable based. Usually, the soup is packed with vegetables, beans, various meat sorts and Mediterranean herbs and spices. Variations of the famous soup can be prepared with meat balls, zucchini’s, pumpkin, kale or any seasonal vegetables available.
My Own Italian Rhapsody Mighty Minestrone Soup Recipe
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions
- 1 tomato
- 4 potatoes
- 1 can of brown beans
- ½ of a celery stock
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 200 gr of precooked pasta (macaroni, rotini or other pasta)
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of bouillon powder or salt (own taste based)
- ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano
- ¼ of pesto sauce
- Ground black pepper (own taste based)
- 200 gr diced chicken breast
- 1 l of warm water
Precook the pasta (you can make a choice of any pasta type; it is up to your liking). Cut the onions, tomatoes and carrot into bigger chunks, after you have washed them. Peel off the potatoes, wash them in cold water and dice into smaller pieces. Do the same with the celery stock.
Put the olive oil to be heated, after you have washed, dried with kitchen towel and diced the chicken breast. When olive oil is heated enough (make sure it is not burning!), put the chicken meat into the pan and stir fry quickly, adding bouillon powder or salt (please make sure to use less of the recommended amount of the bouillon powder or salt in case you have high blood pressure or are trying to avoid salt altogether!).
When the meat seems fried to some extent (5-10 minutes of stir frying), start adding the previously cut vegetables (onion, carrot, tomato, potatoes, celery) and introduce spices and herbs such as pesto sauce (fresh basil is also an option if you have it in your herb garden; in this case it is better to put the basil close to the end of cooking process). Bay leaves can be thrown in as well at this point.
Open the brown beans can and put it into the cooking pan, add black pepper (freshly ground black pepper is more recommendable as it has a more intense taste). When all of the ingredients are well mixed in, start adding water. Then, let it all cook for approximately 30 minutes or shorter / longer (to be more precise, until the vegetables and meat are well cooked and tender).
Just close to 10 minutes before completing your soup, add the precooked pasta. Finely chop the garlic cloves and add them to the soup together with dried oregano. Check one more time the soup if additional spices are needed and adapt to your personal taste.
Optional is to be generous (only to some extent!, watch the calories counts!) with your meal and add some grated Parmigiano cheese into the soup; also, you can serve the mighty minestrone with some garlic bruschettas covered with prosciutto and goat cheese shavings. And of course, when the soup is completed, enjoy the taste of Italy, with your favorite wine and some Eros Ramazotti music!