On this lovely Monday morning, an Italian lesson from “Food Lover’s Companion”:
Minestra = “soup”
Minestrina = “little soup”
Minestrone = “big soup”
I’d eaten minestrone and loved it in the past, but not until this weekend had I made it myself. Saturday was cool and overcast, and I am getting over some chest crud, so it seemed the perfect day to make my first late summer/fall pot of soup. I dug up a recipe from reader Win Hunt that I’ve had for a while but hadn’t made.
This recipe is for slow cooker minestrone, but I altered it to be cooked on the stove top. My only problem was that I had a round steak, which can be pretty tough, so I browned and pressure cooked the steak chunks before putting them in the soup. Washing an extra pot was worth it for tender beef.
We loved this soup so much that we had it for dinner two nights in a row (and Howard had some for lunch yesterday). We’ll be eating it yet again tonight, probably with a grilled cheese sandwich. But it almost does not need any accompaniments, because it is so hearty and filled with different ingredients. In fact, this recipe called for so many different ingredients that I had to omit the green beans. The soup seemed too thick with all the other tasty veggies – cabbage, spinach, celery, onions, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, zucchini – to add anything else! It also has pasta in it, but just enough to enjoy one pasta shell with every other spoonful, which I loved.
Has anybody else made minestrone before? I read that there is no hard and fast recipe because it is the kind of dish you make when you have lots of vegetable odds and ends you want to use up. Next time, I will probably cut back on the garbanzo beans a little bit and add more spinach. Overall, however, I preferred this soup to traditional vegetable beef soup, perhaps because the chicken broth and white wine made it seem a little lighter despite all the hearty veggies.
To see the recipe I used (and to print it out if desired), click here.