- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 hrs minutes
Traditional Minestrone Soup
This is for those of us who love the romance of home cooked good honest food. You will need up to 5 hrs from start to finish if you make the stock, so grab your stock pot, the big 1. I make this in bulk and freeze it in meal lots, individual and snack size serves for after school winter days. There is stages to this recipes. The first is the red sauce base. Then we extend it to the stock, finally we add the veggies and soup pasta.
On my daughter Grace's 5th birthday this was her request for dinner along with crispy chicken wings. The memories are priceless especially with your kids. Food, the tastes, the smells, the warmth all take you back to revisit smiles. This is wholesome good food, packed full of flavor and veggies without nasty additives! Served with a warm fresh loaf of bread with garlic butter and Parmesan cheese melted through. MMMM so good.
- Sauce Base
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Large Brown Onion - 1
- Fresh/Dried Chilli - 1/2 tsp
- Fresh Garlic Cloves - 2
- Fresh Basil - 3 stalks
- Fresh Parsley - 2 stalks
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Good Tinned Tomatos - 800 grams
- Additives for fresh stock
- Chicken Frames OR Wings - 3 frames OR 1kg wings
- Bacon Rash (optional) - 2
- Carrot - 2 large
- Tops of Celery - 1 bunch OR 3 stalks
- Veggies for Finished Soup
- Zucchini - 2 large
- Carrot - 3 large
- Potato - 2 medium
- Celery Stalks - 3
- Cannellini Beans - 1 can
- Fresh Round Green Beans - 200 grams
- Cabbage - 1/4
- Salt and Pepper - to Taste
- Water - This depends on your pot
- Soup Pasta - 1 cup What ever you like, we love Stellini.
- For serving
- Parmesan cheese - To taste
- Fresh Parsley - As garnish/taste
- Chilli - To taste
- Stage 1 of this is the Napoli Sauce base. Lets prep the fresh stuff, finely dice onion, garlic and chilli if your using fresh. Wash the fresh herbs and open your tin of tomato.
- Let talk stock pot for a sec. If you have a heavy base (1 cm) set to 3/4 heat, 6 to 7. If your stock pots base is thinner (0.5 cm) set to 1/2 way, around 5. The heat is important as we want little to no color on the onion. This is a flavor choice so if you do get color don't scrap it, you will just have a nutter or toastier flavor. Ok get on with it Prue. Once oil is heated add onions first then garlic and chilli, saute till onion is transparent.
- Add your tomato, with the can 1/2 fill with water, give it a swish to get all the tomato out and add it to your tomato mixture.
- Now we season your sauce with salt and add your fresh herbs in stalks. We remove this so leave them whole to make that easier, bruise them with a few taps while on the board to help release flavor. Simmer for around 45 to 60 minutes stirring occasionally. If you need to add more water do so to stop sauce becoming too thick and sticking. Taste as this stage to see if you have cooked off the raw bitterness of the tomato. Your base is ready when it has a sweetness. A key to look for is the color depth. You with start with a bright red, end up with a deep rich red.
- If you are making fresh stock add chicken frames, Finely sliced bacon (optional), Your large carrot peeled and cut into 3 chunks each, and tops of the celery (please taste and if its too bitter use stalks) or stalks. Stir these through the sauce till chicken is sealed, and veggies are up to heat. (Alternatively the "proper" way is in a large fry pan with fry off chicken till its light brown, add the veg frying off till all appear to start being transparent, but hey we at home not in a 5 star kitchen). Add enough water to cover everything plus about an extra inch as it will reduce. Simmer on a medium (4 to 5) heat for around an hour. You more water if required. At this stage remove herb stalks, frames, carrot chunks and celery. Discard carrot and celery, I remove the bits of chicken off the frames and add them back to soup. If using a packet stock powder just make it as per instructions and simmer for around 20 mins.
- When prepping all your veggies look at the Cannellini Beans, you everything around that size or a bit smaller so you can get a mixed spoon when eating. Dice it all up, I only shred cabbage for texture. You can fry all this off in a pan with some olive oil and butter for more flavor, but I just add it to the stock, cook on a med heat till veggies are cooked but slightly firm.
- Turn it up to around 7 so you have a rapid simmer, you need it to roll on itself and add your soup pasta. Cook for required time stirring every few minute to make sure it doesn't stick. You may need to add more water depending on how you like your consistency, we like it soupy so I add more. Once pasta is cooked remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let it sit for up to 10 minutes, 1 to develop the flavor, 2 its too hot to eat! Trust me you will burn your mouth!
- When serving I like to sprinkle with fresh parsley and a little Parmesan cheese, we also add some chilli flakes but its up to you. These are all an optional extra but do put that finishing touch to your hard work and effort. Enjoy!!
You can make the Minestrone with store brought stock/powder to save time and effort. In supermarkets I find chicken frames a stupid price and not cost effective at all. I am very lucky to have a wholesale butcher close by so I can get them for $2.50 per bag. That is much cheaper then a good quality powder. When using stock powder I choose Vegeta, it does give the best flavor without a “packet” after taste.Add to Favourites