Hearty Country Minestrone
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lb Italian pork sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices (1 cup)
large onion, chopped (1 cup)
medium stalk celery, sliced (1/2 cup)
cup frozen whole kernel corn
cans (14 oz) beef broth
can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
cup uncooked small pasta shells (4 oz)
Spray 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until pork is no longer pink. Drain. Add carrots, onions and celery; cook and stir 2 minutes.
Add all remaining ingredients except pasta; mix well. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 to 6 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add pasta; return to boiling. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.
Serving Size: 1 Serving
- Calories from Fat
% Daily Value
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat
- 3 1/2g
- Trans Fat
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
1 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 1 High-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
- 2008 © and ®/™ of General Mills
The Best Minestrone Soup Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details. Nothing says more &ldquocomfort food&rdquo than thick, hearty, melt-in-the-mouth Minestrone Soup. Italian Minestrone soup is made with seasonal veggies, legumes and small pasta shape or rice. The beauty of this soup is that you can make it a hundred times and have it taste different every time you make it. For this reason there&rsquos no a set recipe for Italian minestrone soup but rather some basic concepts of choosing and cooking veggies, legumes and pasta. Depending on the season, your local farm&rsquos market availability and your personal taste preferences your vegetable selection will be different almost each time you make minestrone. But regardless of this here are some of the key step and ingredients you don&rsquot want to miss. Minestrone Soup (Plus a Twist!)
I’m ashamed to admit that this is only the second time in the past 8 years that I’ve made minestrone! My Italian family would be so disappointed, but when you love soup as much as I do, it’s hard to eat the same kind over again.
I’m kind of a mad scientist in the kitchen when it comes to soup, just ask my husband. I stayed pretty true to this classic though, with the exception of one ingredient: pesto! Our family is obsessed with basil pesto… it’s FULL of herby flavor and I think it adds a nice flavor that really takes this soup from good to amazing!!
Ingredients for this soup
This minestrone uses up all sorts of green veggies. In fact you can just use whatever odds and ends you have in the fridge. Here’s what I used to make my minestrone.
- Bacon – just two rasher chopped up to really add some flavour to the minestrone
- Onion, leek, celery and garlic – this is your soup base
- The liquid – white wine and chicken stock (feel free to use vegetable stock instead)
- The greens – I used courgette/zucchini, green beans, broccoli, asparagus and peas (frozen!)
- Flavour – A bay leaf and dried oregano
- Pasta – no real minestrone soup can be without pasta! Use a small pasta like macaroni or mini pasta shapes.
I use what I call my pasta smash for this minestrone recipe. This is all the bits and bobs of broken pasta that’s leftover from other recipes and my pasta packets. I keep all these in a jar so I can use them to add some thickening and texture to soup whenever I fancy.
Chi ben cena, ben dorme. “He who drinks soup, sleeps well”. This Italian proverb is quite far from the famous “He who sleeps forgets his hunger”. So let’s have a supper with an institution of Italian cuisine: minestrone.
What is minestrone?
Minestrone comes from Italian minestra which means “soup” or “to serve”. It designates a preparation of fresh seasonal vegetables cut and cooked in a broth.
Consumed throughout Italy, there are many variations depending on the seasons and regions, often associated with dried beans, pasta, rice, but also sometimes basil and Parmesan cheese. There is no single recipe for minestrone as its origins are rooted in remote and rural popular Italian tradition.
Minestrone is the epitome of the cucina povera or cuisine of the poor as opposed to cucina nobile, noble cuisine. A hearty, simple and inexpensive cuisine that allowed the people to take advantage of the leftovers of previous meals, mainly accompaniments in this case here, to which seasonal vegetables from the garden or market were added.
How to make minestrone
Although today, we often find blends of all these vegetables, there are however major regional trends in the selection of the ingredients in minestrone.
Indeed, it is more common to find root vegetables such as the potato, carrot, celery and onion in northern Italy, while stem vegetables are usually used in the South, including tomatoes, peas, beans or zucchini. Also, although most recent recipes ask for vegetable or chicken stock, the authentic and traditional recipe of minestrone only required water.
The recipe I chose for today is a vegetarian minestrone, but again it is only a variant among a multitude of recipes as some recipes include bacon or a whole piece of ham, a pork head or pancetta. Vegetarian minestrone was at the time more popular, due to the high price of meat.
Categories of soup in Italy
Italians classify their soups in three distinct categories according to their consistency:
– Minestrine for light soups or broths
– Minestre for hearty soups
– Minestroni for thick soups
Minestrone is therefore part of the latter group.
If you like soup as much as I do, I invite you to discover all the soup recipes we have already featured on 196 flavors.
This recipe is validated by our Italian culinary expert, Benny the Chef.