Minestrone Soup

A Hearty and Filling Soup

Minestrone Soup_6373

I hope you had a great weekend. We had a frozen one. Spring took a break and temperatures plummeted to 0°C (32°F). From tomorrow, spring will slowly come back again, and we can continue as if nothing happened in between. Thereafter, there will be lots of sunshine.

I have been eating minestrone soup for many years, but have often wondered why it’s so variable. Some restaurants serve it light, more like a broth, and others serve it thick, with lots of vegetables and some meat (to entice carnivores like me). Today I decided to find out why this soup is so variable and here is what I found out from dear old Wikipedia and other random sources.

The soup is of Italian origin, made mainly of vegetables, and often, pasta or rice is added. It has no fixed recipe and vastly depends on vegetables in season. Ingredients may include beans, onions, celery, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes (list not exhaustive).

Minestrone Soup_6358

Minestrone is defined as a thick vegetable soup often containing dried beans, herbs and pasta, served with Parmesan Cheese. The word originated from latin ministrare which means to serve or dish.

Minestrone Soup_6348Today, I want to share with you my version of minestrone. I usually serve it as a complete meal with some whole wheat or French bread. It’s very filling. I hope you will like it!

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 slices back bacon, rind removed and sliced (optional)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 leek, trimmed, washed and cut into rings
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
  • 1 courgette (Zucchini) diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1200ml (4¾ cups, 1.3 quarts ) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced or scrubbed and diced
  • 200g canned chickpeas
  • 5 medium tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, & chopped or 540ml (19fl oz) can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 75g (3oz) green cabbage, thoroughly washed and shredded (or spinach, or kale, or green beans)
  • 100g (3½ oz) pasta twists
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to top

Minestrone Soup_6246Remember to assemble all ingredients before you start cooking

Minestrone Soup_6260Ingredients

Minestrone Soup_6261Heat a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil

Minestrone Soup_6264Fry bacon slices until slightly browned.

Minestrone Soup_6267Add the onion, garlic, leek, celery, zucchini (courgette) and bay leaves

Minestrone Soup_6275Fry for 5 minutes, until softened.

Minestrone Soup_6276Add stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Minestrone Soup_6281Add carrots, turnips, potatoes, chickpeas and chopped tomatoes.

Minestrone Soup_6288Bring back to the boil

Minestrone Soup_6294Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are almost cooked.

Minestrone Soup_6289Blend the tomato paste with 2 tablespoons cold water, and stir into the soup. Add shredded cabbage and pasta

Minestrone Soup_6296Bring back to the boil and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until pasta is cooked, al dente. Discard the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper

Minestrone Soup_6340Top soup with grated Parmesan cheese and serve with fresh whole wheat bread or garlic bread, or any other accompaniment, you like  (sorry I didn’t have Parmesan cheese that day, but I garnished with some chopped chives)

Minestrone Soup_6363This soup is so good, it’s one of my favourites!

Minestrone Soup_6344

I hope you enjoyed the soup, if you tried it!

Minestrone Soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 50 minutes; Makes: about 5 x 250ml cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 slices back bacon, rind removed and sliced (optional)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 leek, trimmed, washed and cut into rings
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced thinly
  • 1 courgette (Zucchini) diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1200ml (4¾ cups, 1.3 quarts ) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced or scrubbed and diced
  • 200g canned chickpeas
  • 5 medium tomatoes, skinned, deseeded, & chopped or 540ml (19fl oz) can chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 75g (3oz) green cabbage, thoroughly washed and shredded (or spinach, or kale, or green beans)
  • 100g (3½ oz) pasta twists
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to top

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat, add olive oil, fry bacon slices until slightly browned. Add the onion, garlic, leek, celery, zucchini (courgette) and bay leaves and fry for 5 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, turnip, potatoes, chickpeas and chopped tomatoes. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are almost cooked.
  4. Blend the tomato paste with 2 tablespoons cold water, and stir into the soup. Add shredded cabbage and pasta and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until pasta is cooked, al dente.
  5. Discard the bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh whole wheat bread.

Points to Note

  • You can use any other pasta of your choice
  • Chopped deseeded tomatoes weighed about 500g, so you can use canned 540ml (19fl oz), chopped/diced tomatoes.
  • You can make the soup in advance and stop at step three, and add the tomato paste, shredded cabbage and pasta when you are ready to serve the soup (Step 4).
  • As I mentioned before, there are no hard and fast rules on making minestrone, vary ingredients to suit you, but tomatoes,  pasta and stock are essential, and for me BACON is a must it gives a wonderful flavour.

myfavouritepastime.com 

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

28 thoughts

    1. I love minestrone soup too, that makes the two of us. At least twice a week am in no mood to cook a wholesome meal and that explains why I really love soups. I also love them because they are hearty and they make me take a break from eating meat. Thank you so much for stopping by. I look forward to seeing you more often. Have a fantastic weekend.

    1. Thanks. I have looked at your version with whole wheat rotini. Thanks for the compliments. I eat meat but I also love vegetables, and cook a lot of vegetarian food. There is always something to learn from the other person or blog. Have a wonderful end-of-the-week and hope to see more of you in future!

  1. Like everyone else I love minestrone soup – it is fun to see all of the different versions of this wonderful soup. I make mine vegetarian after two young relatives requested leaving out the meat and now that is how I make it. Yours sounds delicious though, especially with bacon.

    1. Hi ‘Juju’
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I am so happy to meet another minestrone lover, it’s a good soup, very tasty. The bacon is usually optional for me, but I love adding it because it does enhance the flavour for me. My son is vegetarian so when he visits the bacon is usually omitted. The good thing about home cooking is you can always adjust the ingredients to suit you. Thank you so much for keeping the conversation flowing, I look forward to seeing you again. Have a pleasant day!!! Liz

  2. It is cooler here today … and soup sounds wonderfully warming. I like when I get minestrone soup and it’s on the spicier side … mmmm. But I have never made it myself.

    The photos of the onion, garlic, leeks, celery, and zucchinis sautéing look soooooo nom nom. I want to spoon it over some brown rice and eat it lol.

    1. Hi Katie,
      There is always a first time, so don’t worry, there will be a first time. I have just eaten some spicy tortellini soup with huge chunks of sausages, for dinner, yum, I am so full, can hardly take a deep breath. and my tortellini soup had some onion, garlic and celery, too. Thanks so much for stopping by…and enjoy the rest of the week and you can spoon some of veggies on your rice. I don’t mind at all.

    1. I adore this soup. It’s very tasty and filling. You should give it a try, sometime, when you feel up to it. Thanks for stopping by, many times. Hope to see more of you!

  3. Minestrone is a personal favorite and I enjoy it year-round. I’m not about to pass by all of Summer’s vegetables and wait for cold weather to make this or any soup. Besides, a soup as good as the one you’ve just shared is too good to go without.

    1. I am so glad that so many people like Minestrone, you inclusive, I love this soup. Generally speaking, I love soups, homemade soups to be precise and usually I just make them when I want, irrespective of the season. Thank you so much. I’m happy that you like my soup. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for stopping by.

    1. Hi thanks for visiting me. The soup is delicious. The weather is actually going to be much better, and frankly speaking, I don’t really mind a mild change of weather. It makes life seem real and this year my resolution is to carry the weather with me!!! Have a wonderful week and thanks for popping by!

  4. It looks wonderful Liz! I mean, everything’s better with bacon isn’t it!!! I make a similar version but I also add barley to mine. I love barley so I find I put it in most soups or stews. I also love your addition of chick peas. I buy them by the case – they are so versatile. Lovely photos!

    1. Hi I am so happy to see you. You always make my day because you have so much energy. I love people with a lot of energy. You know I have never cooked soup with barley but now I have reason to try that the next time I am making soup. I make soup at least twice a week, so that will be easy. I love chick peas especially in soup or dry roasted too. I saw your post last night but It was so late, I shall be visiting shortly. Thank you so much for the happy visits, I treasure them. Have a wonderful week! And of course everything is so much better with a splash of BACON, you are so right!!!!

    1. Hi Sara, thanks for stopping by. That makes the two of us, I love Minestrone too. Don’t worry about the weather, I am now used to the ups and downs we are having, doesn’t bother me one bit as long as I can eat some BACON in soup. Thank you so much for stopping by and do have a pleasant week!

  5. this is one soup I love and yet have never made it home made… i will have some left over pork rost from dinner this evening and think I will use it in this soup… I will add white beans too… thanks for the post

    1. Hi Jolynn,
      I am so happy to see you again. I love this soup so much I had to learn how to make it myself and the good thing is you can add ingredients to suit your palate and mood, Please let me know how your pot roast version goes. I might just want to try that too. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi Frances, I am always so happy to see you. I was planning to pass by Beads and Spatula, Today has been a very busy day for me. I shall be there shortly!!! Thank you so much for your support too. Please never break the link. Have a wonderful week too!!!!! Oh and by the way I LOVE minestrone soup, it’s just a great soup!

    1. Hi Dorrie Anne,
      Long time. Nice to hear from you. Next time I make it I shall add beans and Asiago Cheese, I have actually never added Asiago. I will let you know how much I liked it. I shall visit your blog tomorrow, have to catch up on sleep now. Thanks for stopping by!

Please join the conversation.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s