There are as many minestrone soup recipes as there are cooks; each region boosts its own.
In Genoa, it is made up of pumpkin, cabbage, beans, zucchini, string beans, celery and tomatoes; it is garnished with 3 kinds of pasta noodles and served with along with pesto.
Elsewhere, it is served along with grated Parmesan cheese.
- 5 1/4 ounces [150 g] dry white beans
- 2 carrots
- 3 potatoes
- 1/4 celeriac
- 2 leeks
- 2 zucchinis
- 3 tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons [60 mL] olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 cups [2 L] beef broth
- 4 sprigs basil
- 3 sprigs parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 tablespoon [15 mL] soup pasta noodles
- Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste [optional]
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Soak dry white beans overnight, covered with cold water.
- Drain and transfer beans into a casserole; pour in 2 cups [500 mL] water.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and leave simmer for about 30 minutes; remove from heat and reserve.
- Meanwhile, peel carrots, potatoes and celeriac.
- Cut stems and green leaves off leeks; carefully rinse white parts of leeks.
- Rinse zucchinis.
- Slice then finley dice carrots, potatoes, celeriac, leeks and zucchinis.
- Plunge tomatoes for 1 minute into boiling water.
- Peel then cut tomatoes into 4 or 8 segments, according to size.
- Pour olive oil into a large casserole.
- Melt together all prepared vegetables into olive oil, over low heat stirring often.
- Peel and crush garlic cloves; add to vegetables.
- Heat beef broth into a clean casserole; pour over vegetables.
- Pour in reserved white beans and cooking liquid.
- Chop 2 of basil sprigs and rinse parsley sprigs; add to casserole, along with thyme sprig.
- Cover; simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
- Salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle soup noodles all over the soup; leave to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove thyme and parsley sprigs from soup.
- Pour soup into a soup serving bowl.
- Finely chop remaining 2 basil leaves; sprinkle over soup.
- Serve immediately, along with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.