Deutsch: Minestrone / Español: Minestrone / Português: Minestrone / Français: Minestrone / Italiano: Minestrone

Minestrone is a thick, hearty Italian soup made from a variety of vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. There is no set recipe for minestrone, as it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or include a meat-based broth.

Description

The soup is known for its robust flavor and adaptability. Minestrone combines a variety of ingredients that typically include a base of onions, celery, and carrots (the classic Italian "soffritto"), beans for protein, and pasta or rice for starch. The inclusion of tomatoes provides a rich base, while the addition of leafy greens like spinach or kale adds freshness and additional nutrients. It is often topped with parmesan cheese and served with crusty bread.

Application Areas

Minestrone is a staple in Italian cuisine and can be adapted to fit any season:

  • Winter Versions: Typically made with root vegetables and possibly bits of ham or pancetta.
  • Summer Versions: Can feature lighter vegetables such as zucchini, green beans, and fresh tomatoes.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Versions: Easily adapted by omitting meat and using vegetable broth.

Well-Known Examples

Minestrone varies by region in Italy, and each version may have its unique twist depending on local ingredients available. Some versions include:

  • Minestrone alla Genovese: Features pesto, adding a distinctive basil flavor.
  • Minestrone di verdure: Focuses heavily on a variety of seasonal vegetables without the use of pasta or proteins.

Recipes

Basic Minestrone Recipe: Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 400 grams canned tomatoes
  • 1 liter vegetable or chicken stock
  • 400 grams canned beans (like cannellini or red kidney beans), drained and rinsed
  • 100 grams pasta (small shapes) or rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Handful of fresh basil or parsley, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Cook Soffritto: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots, cooking until they are softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add Vegetables and Tomatoes: Incorporate zucchini and canned tomatoes, stirring to combine. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes break down slightly.
  3. Add Stock and Simmer: Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add Beans and Pasta: Add the beans and pasta, and continue to simmer until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Season and Serve: Season with salt and pepper, stir in the fresh herbs, and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve hot, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Summary

Minestrone is a versatile and nutritious Italian soup that exemplifies the use of seasonal vegetables. It can be tailored to different tastes and dietary requirements, making it a popular dish worldwide.

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