If there were a national soup of italy, it would undoubtedly be Minestrone di Verdure. This simple soup is a combination of seasonal vegetables, kidney beans and pasta, and basic stock. How then, can such a simple recipe yield such complex results? Because, as with many traditional Italian dishes, the artful ingredient pairing and the overall quality and freshness of all ingredients does the trick. The origins of minestrone date back many centuries to Roman times. During these times villagers were often "vegetarian by necessity" that is that they did not have access to meat and tried to create dishes that would satisfy and provide adequate nutrition. The dish never had a set recipe because, like many of our favorite former peasant dishes, people used whatever was available and in season at the time. Our recipe reflects a classic minestrone recipe but, as the chef, you can change up ingredients to match whatever you’re in the mood for.
What you’ll need for pesto
- 2 ounces fresh pine nuts.
- 3 ounces fresh basil.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 ounces fresh grated parmesan cheese
Preparation for pesto
- Combine all above ingredients in a blender and blend until uniform and smooth. If needed you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water to create a paste like texture.
- Taste your pesto and add salt and pepper if needed
What you’ll need for soup
- 2.5 pounds of mixed chopped vegetables. Some great options to include are carrots, celery, squash, zucchini, potato, cabbage. Choose vegetables that are firm and maintain form when boiled.
- 1 chopped and peeled garlic clove
- 1 chopped and peeled onion
- 20 ounces of stock. This can be beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
- 2 cups of small pasta. The original minestrone pasta is tubular, but you can opt for any small size shape.
- 1 can of dark red kidney beans, drained. You can also use the traditional Borlotti bean.
- Fresh grated parmesan cheese to taste.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat your 4 tablespoons of olive oil and add chopped onion and garlic to the hot saucepan.
- Add in your prepared vegetables and your broth or stock. Allow to cook for 12 minutes on high heat
- Add the beans and the pasta of your choice and allow to cook on medium heat for another ten minutes or until pasta and beans are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir into your pesto sauce
- Serve fresh and hot. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top before serving.