Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup Recipe
For us Italians, the Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup Recipe is one of those classical and evergreen recipes we associate with genuine things, happy moments and family warmth. This is in fact one of the many typical Italian recipes that is usually handed down from grandmas to children in a perpetual loop, something every Italian person have made at least once in life. Since it’s a very traditional recipe, everyone prepares in his own way but there are some rules not to be forgotten.
There is no perfect time to prepare this Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup Recipe, but certainly the winter, with its cold temperatures, is the ideal season for this dish; this does not prevent us from preparing it even when it’s hot outside and eating it cold, choosing a variety of seasonal ingredients.
In all cases, at the base of the “minestrone soup” there is always a sauté prepared with celery, onion and carrot browned in oil and then covered in water with all the other vegetables. The sauté is one of the elements on which the traditions often diverge: it is not rare to make your minestrone with lard and bacon, for a stronger flavour and certainly more calories.
Things to remember when making the Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup at home
- The vegetables should all be cut in the same way so as to allow a homogeneous cooking;
- Frozen vegetables, as well as shop bought mixes, should never be used: even if they seem practical, in fact frozen foods conceal various pitfalls and the use of frozen ingredients (or even minestrone in bags) can ruin the flavour of the dish, not to mention that industrial frozen foods could be subject to processes that weaken the power of vegetables;
- Even if you are tempted, the stock cubes should never be added to the soup: it is the vegetables themselves that give flavour and you do not need additional elements to give flavour to the soup;
- Never add canned vegetables: if you want to use legumes for your grandma’s soup, you must use the dried ones, let them soak for at least 12 hours and then add them. Legumes in a jar are likely to compromise the flavour of the dish and are usually rich in additional ingredients that are not at all necessary;
- It is always essential to choose seasonal vegetables so as to get the most out of your soup!
Before moving on to the recipe, a small consideration necessary for this recipe: the Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup is a real exercise of imagination. Once you have acquired the basic recipe, you can play with the ingredients in order to create a personalised and unique dish.
Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup Recipe Original
Ingredients for 4 people
- 150 grams of potatoes
- 60 grams of carrots
- 1/2 onion
- 30 grams of celery sticks
- 200 grams of cauliflower
- 150 grams of dried borlotti beans
- 1 broccoli
- Leaves of beet
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt if needed
- 100 grams of beef tomatoes or tomato puree
- Crusts of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese/ Bread / Pasta [Optional].
- Soak the borlotti beans and leave them in water for at least 12 hours;
- Clean all the vegetables, then cut them into dice of the same size;
- Remove the peel and seed from the tomatoes and cut them into strips;
- Sauté chopped onion, carrots and celery in extra virgin olive oil, then, when the onion is dried, add all the other vegetables except for the tomatoes;
- Cover with 1.5 liters of slightly salted water, and boil for a couple of hours on medium heat, stirring often. If necessary, add slightly warm water;
- At the end of cooking, add the tomato or tomato puree as you wish. Salt if necessary;
- To make the soup more thick take a quarter of the minestrone and blend it then put it back in the pot and cook for another 5 minutes;
- Serve hot alone, adding bread or Parmesan crusts or avoid mixing part of the minestrone and add the pasta to be cooked for the necessary time.
Preparation time: 3 hours
More tips for a perfect minestrone soup
- If you have one, cook your minestrone in a clay pot: this type of pot has the power to spread the heat evenly and makes the soup scented and tasty, without leaving any residue;
- If you have little time available, the pressure cooker can be an excellent ally to prepare the soup: depending on the type of cooker you will use, you will need to set the specific cooking duration. Leave to cook over a moderate heat until the pressure cooker releases the whistle and from that moment it calculates 10 to 20 minutes of further cooking;
- To avoid that the soup is too liquid, remember to add water as the cooking goes on (remember to heat it!) and always make sure that the vegetables are not submerged and float but still remain compact;
- A good Italian Vegetable Minestrone Soup is better the day after the preparation: it is a good idea to prepare it the night before for lunch the next day or, why not, even for dinner. If you opt for this solution, heat it for a few minutes on low heat and possibly without adding too much water in this phase;
- It is possible to store the minestrone directly in the cooking pot or inside a container with an airtight seal, in the refrigerator for up to 4/5 days;
- If you want to freeze the minestrone, use an airtight container and freeze the product only when it is completely cold. You can consume it no later than 4 weeks, letting it defrost directly on the stove on low heat to prevent it from filling with water.