Genoa Style Minestrone Soup
Minestrone, A thick soup of Italian origin containing assorted vegetables, beans, pasta such as vermicelli or macaroni, and herbs in a meat or vegetable broth and consisting of pasta, rice, vegetables or beans cooked in water, from Old Italian soups made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. Soup is considered to be as old as the history of cooking. In times when food was scarce, dumping various ingredients into a pot to boil was not only cheap, it was filling. Its simple constitution made it accessible to rich and poor alike, and simple ingredients made it easy to digest for the both the healthy and sick. Each culture adopted its own variation with the ingredients on hand Italian minestrone is one such soup—but the basics for all of them remain the same.
Cook Time 2 – 3 hours, Serves 6 – 8
- 4 quarts water
- 1 pound ham
- 1 pound bony chicken parts
- 1/4 pound sliced prosciutto or bacon
- 2 cups diced potato
- 2 cups sliced celery
- 1 16 oz. can stewed tomatoes with juice (unseasoned)
- 4 small zucchini, sliced in 1/2 -inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups sliced leeks
- 1 pound Italian (Romano) green beans or lima beans, or whatever you may have in your pantry kidney, black beans, navy beans . Canned is good.
- 1/2 cup salad macaroni (ditalini,” Little thimbles” in Italian. A smaller cousin of elbow macaroni, ditalini is a straight smooth tubular shape.)
- 1 pound peas, shelled
- 3 to 4 cups shredded white cabbage
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon basil
- Pesto sauce
Combine water, ham, chicken, and prosciutto, and bring to boiling.
Cover and simmer 2 hours.
Strain and reserve stock; discard bones.
Bring stock to boiling and add potatoes; cover and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove cover and add celery, zucchini, leeks, green beans, and macaroni and simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in peas and cabbage and cook 4 or 5 minutes more.
Salt and pepper to taste.