Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Best Minestrone

I love making soups.  I usually make a pot of a soup on Sunday and then I can have it during the week for lunch or dinner, and as the weather changes soups are great to keep you warm.  I even have dinner parties where all I have is a buffet of soups and people love it.

One soup I never understood was minestrone.  I don’t know why but I was never a minestrone fan, every time I ordered it at restaurants I got a broth with some vegetables in it and because of that I never made it at home.  That is until my husband said he wanted me to try to make a good minestrone sour.  Well I think I might have found my new favorite soup.  I am telling you this is the best minestrone I have ever had, not that I have lots to compare to but this is my new favorite soup right now.

Minestrone literally means “big soup,” it is an Italian classic packed with vegetables, pasta, beans and lots of other goodies.

I found this recipe from The Culinary Institute of America Book of Soups and made a few adjustments but it is their basic recipe.  I do have to say this cookbook is great if you are looking for a good soup book.

Take out some of the chicken stock you made last week and make this soup!


2 tbsp olive oil
1 ounce pancetta or bacon chopped (5-6 thin slices)
1 ½ cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped onions (1 onion)
1 cup sliced carrots (2 carrots)
¼  cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped, drained, canned plum tomatoes
2 quarts Chicken Stock
½ cup peeled, diced potato (2 potatoes)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese rind
3 ounces angel hair pasta broken into 2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
½  cup drained chickpeas
½ cup drained kidney beans
1/3  cup basil pesto
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta/bacon and cook until the fat melts, 3-5 minutes. Do not brown.
Add the cabbage, onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
Add the broth, potato, and Parmesan cheese rind. Bring to as simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, cook the angel hair pasta according to package directions. Drain.
When the vegetables in the soup are tender, add the cooked pasta, chickpeas, and kidney beans. Remove and discard the Parmesan rind.
Season the soup to taste with the pesto, salt and pepper.
Serve in bowl and sprinkle with cheese.


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21 Responses to “The Best Minestrone”

  1. 1

    Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen — September 1, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    Soup, sweatshirts and Saturday afternoon football…bring on the fall season! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

      Jane, let me know when you make the soup. I did a bunch of chicken stock this weekend so i can make some more it ws so good.

  2. 2

    Lucy @ lucille in the sky — September 1, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    I love soup. I love making soup and eating it for several days. But I agree that it’s hard to find a good minestrone. Can’t even tell you how excited I am about this recipe! Thx!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

      Lucy, so glad you stopped by. Let me know when you try it out. Now my next thing is to find a good Italian Wedding Soup Recipe.

  3. 3

    Ebony — September 1, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

    I am so over the summer! So thanks for reminding me that fall is soon approaching. There’s nothing like warm soup on a cool day. And this looks yummy indeed!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

      Ebony – Ohh i wish summer was longer here but that is because Seatle had a bad summer and it is already fall here. Thanks for stopping by, let me know what you think of the soup.

  4. 4

    grace — September 1, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

    i don’t think i’ve ever seen a minestrone with spaghetti, but i like it just fine! yep, soup weather is almost officially here…

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

      Grace – you can really put any noodles you want but the recipe called for angel hair pasta that you break into small peices. I LOVED this recipe. Now i am looking for a good Italian Wedding Recipe.

  5. 5

    Lisa — September 2, 2010 @ 6:13 am

    Minestrone is something I look forward to making every fall. Since I am totally a FALL person, I can’t wait to make pots of minestrone this winter! I like this recipe with the angel hair. Will definitely give this one a go.

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

      Lisa – So nice to hear from you. I love soups. Now i am looking for a good Italian Wedding Soup Recipe. Have any favorites?

  6. 6

    Gaynol — September 3, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

    I can wait a little longer for fall soups, but this is a nice recipe, reminds me of pasta fagioli but those are traditionally meatless. I’m for anything that has pancetta in it!

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:40 pm

      Gaynol – Well in Seattle fall is here. Kind of sad. What is your favorite soup? I am now in the look out for a good Italian Wedding soup.

  7. 7

    Reeni — September 4, 2010 @ 4:49 pm

    I’ve never been a fan of minestrone either! But I think it’s just that I never had a good one. Like this one! It’s packed with flavor and the pesto is a really nice original touch.

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

      Reeni – Oh you have to try this. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. 8

    Buddy's mom — September 6, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    I definitely want to try this soon. Another I want to try is Italian wedding soup. I found this history…

    • Delishhh replied: — September 7th, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

      Buddy’s Mom – How was the soup? Next project is on. Just made a bunch of chicken stock so i can make the wedding soup this weekend 🙂

  9. 9

    FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge #1 – Introduction — Delishhh — September 19, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

    […] The Best Minestrone […]

  10. 10

    Fritzi — March 31, 2011 @ 3:39 am

    There are no chickpeas in minestrone. Barlotti or cannelli please. Also, what is sale and group black pepper at the end of ingredients list please?

    • Delishhh replied: — March 31st, 2011 @ 8:19 am

      Fritzi, thank you for your comment. This recipe came out of the book of The Culinary Institute of America Book of Soups and it has chickpeas in there. I am sure there are many versions of minestrone, one reason i do not eat it at restaurants since they can never make it good. Also the last to ingredients are salt and pepper i fixed that, thank you for doing a check for me. If you do make it please let me know how it turns out.

  11. 11

    Berry Smoothie — Delishhh — August 31, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    […] Year Ago: The Best Minestrone // If you enjoyed this post, I’d truly appreciate a Comment, Tweet, Stumble, Facebook […]

  12. 12

    Delishhh » Guest Post from The English Organizer – 10 Tips for a More Organized Kitchen — February 10, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

    […] 8. Decide on your favorite staple items and aim to stock these in your pantry at all times for store cupboard meals like a basic soup. […]

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