WHAT IS MINESTRONE?
Minestrone is a classic Italian soup filled with fresh vegetables and vermicelli or ditalini pasta. Perfect for vegetarians or vegans (just omit the Parmesan) you can make it even heartier by adding sweet Italian sausage or bits of fried, diced pancetta. As with any soup the starting point for success is a good soup stock so check out our recipe for vegetable stock! No dish is more iconic in Italy, its very name is derived from “minestra“, the Italian word for soup.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING MINESTRONE?
Which vegetables should you use? Carrots, celery and onions are always found in minestrone. Furthermore you can use navy beans or kidney beans. When it comes to greens – cabbage, escarole, and even spinach will work. Soups and sauces tend to taste better the following day. So don’t be afraid to let your finished masterpiece sit in the refrigerator overnight.
WHAT GOES WELL WITH MINESTRONE?
As with most soups, Minestrone is served as a Primo Platto (1st course) back home. Depending on where you are in Italy, the season, and the cook, arborio rice is a popular addition to this recipe. Also this soup can include meat (rabbit) if you’re not in a vegetarian mood. Back in Roman times animal proteins were a much more expensive staple (then today) and less often used. In other regions like Piedmont melted Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese is added, or in Liguria, pesto . Or for the more blasphemous, try some French Gruyere! In terms of pasta, small cuts like cavatappi and orecchiette are popular choices. Or as an accompaniment, sourdough bread is my personal favorite.