Minestrone comes from the “cucina povera” or “poor kitchen”. Created and elaborated from it’s own ingredients, a mix of leftover or fresh, slightly wilted or oven roasted vegetables or dried legumes possibly simmering with meat broths or bones, cheese crusts and dry bread crusts. Or like mine, without the elaboration of the last 4 listed but with a touch of dried herbs. Some omit the starches, the beans, potatoes and some add rice, barley or pasta. Minestrone can be what you want it to be, a soup, a “zuppa” (a stew-like consistency) or even a puree’. And deliciously decorated with grated cheeses, crispy bacon or like me, with my favorite olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper or like Joe, pureed and topped with crispy bacon and fresh bread (below).
But if you are like me, you use what you have including half of a roasted sweet pumpkin and rejoice from the grande finale of the composed “Minestrone”.
I sautéed 1 chopped onion and 3 cloves garlic in a couple tbsp. Evo in an 8 qt. pot.
- 2 roma Tomatoes, chopped
- 4 medium sizes Carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks of Celery, chopped
- 1 large red Potato, chopped
- 4 handfuls of fresh Spinach
- 4 Broccoli florets
- 4 Cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup sliced Mushrooms
- 1 *handful of the following: dried chick peas, dried peas, dried cannellini beans & lentils (soaked for 4 hrs)
*1 handful = 1/4 cup
I sautéed all the ingredients for a few mins then added 1/2 gallon of Spring Water.
I added 1/4 tsp of:
- maggiorana, thyme, oregano, dill weed,
- 2 bay leaves and 3 tsps sea salt.
I let boil then simmer for an hour + and then added:
- 1/2 roasted sweetie pie Pumpkin, cut in large pieces (approx. 2 cups)
I added another 4-6 cups Spring water as needed and let simmer until all the dried legumes were soft and to just the right consistancy.
Buon Appetito to Joe and I!