Monday 9 November 2020

Minestrone Soup


This soup is from Italy but can vary from region to region and by season. Like most tasty soups, one starts by simmering the bones of chicken or meat for hours with leftover vegetables. The stock or broth, which is the most important ingredient in any soup, should be clear and packed with flavour since it is the very basis of any soup. This could also be vegetarian, made up of just root vegetables and some herbs and spices. 
The regions in the north, like Lombardy, include a small amount of cooked pasta, while the south, like Tuscany, generally enjoy cannellini beans in their minestrone. 
A minestrone is a thick vegetable soupthe difference between a vegetable soup and a minestrone is the addition of pasta and beans. A drizzle of pesto can also be added when serving. 
To start off with, the Italians use their Sofrito—three basic vegetables of 2 parts onion, 1 part celery, and 1 part carrot, while the French use the same to make their base, which is called the Mirepoix. 


Serves 6

4 tbsp olive oil
2 diced onions
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup diced celery 
1 1/2 cups diced carrot 
1  diced zucchini
6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock as needed
3 small fresh tomatoes skinned and diced
Salt, pepper, pinch of sugar and oregano to flavour  
Keep simmering. Just before you serve, add 
1/2 cup cooked mini pasta of choice
1 can cannellini, navy, kidney or white beans 
All these vegetables are going to stay whole, so cut them all equally and not very tiny.
Parmesan to serve with.

In a soup pot, heat 4 tbsp olive oil, add and sautée`2 diced onions. Continue to add the garlic, celery, carrot, and salt and mix well.
Lastly, add the zucchini, as you don't want it overcooked.
Add the stock of choice, bring it all to a boil, and add 3 small fresh tomatoes, skinned and diced. 
Salt, pepper and oregano for flavour.  
Keep simmering for 20 minutes. 
Just before you serve, add 1/2 cup of cooked mini pasta of your choice.
1 can beans, cannellini or navy, kidney, or white beans-rinsed under cold water in a sieve.

All these vegetables are going to stay whole, so cut them all equally and not very tiny.
Rinsing the beans in cold water is important to keep them from becoming mush.
Grated parmesan is traditionally served with it. Try garlic cheese toast instead to complete the meal. 

Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

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