Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Create-Your-Own Minestrone

I’ve tried almost a dozen minestrone recipes in my life, but none have lived up to my ideal for this flavorful, hearty soup.  It turns out that minestrone leaves a lot of room for interpretation.  It literally means “big soup” in Italian – what you put into it is kind of up to you.   So this week, I decided to tackle minestrone head on by creating my own version, with a little cookbook coaching by Mark Bittman.   My take reflects a central belief of my household growing up – that everything is just a little bit better with more garlic and lots of tomato. You can try my version, or I’ve included a few helpful hints from Bittman’s How to Make Everything Vegetarian so you can create your own.  –jaime

Ingredients

3 tablesppons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced (divided)

1 Yukon gold potato, 1/2 in. dice **

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (I used chicken)

1 cup water

28 ounces canned diced tomatoes

1 medium zucchini, cut into quarter rounds ***

1/2 cup green beans, cut into 2 in. pieces ***

1 cup chopped kale  ***

1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cups canned beans (I used half chickpeas and half kidney beans)

3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta

Ingredient notes:

This is where Bittman is super helpful.  His minestrone is a bit of a choose-your-own adventure.  A few hard vegetables, a few soft, some beans and pasta if you want to make it pasta e fagioli, and you have a minestrone.

** Feel free to use other “hard” vegetables here like squash, parsnip, etc.

***Feel free to use other “soft” vegetables and greens here like chard, summer squash, pepper, etc.

From start to finish: base veggies, hard veggies, and soft veggies

Directions

1.  Heat oil over medium heat and saute onion, celery, and carrot, and half of garlic about 5 minutes.

2.  Add the potato (or other “hard” vegetables”), salt, and pepper.  Cook for a couple of minutes.

3.  Add stock, water, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then let cook at a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Add zucchini through oregano (or other “soft” vegetables, beans, and herbs”), beans, pasta, and the rest of the garlic.  Cook until pasta and vegetables are fully cooked, around 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning and serve.

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2 comments on “Mezze: Create-Your-Own Minestrone

  1. Pingback: Dolce: Strawberry, Pistachio & Cardamom Crumble | Mezze & Dolce

  2. Pingback: Mezze: Persian “Minestrone” Soup with Minty Fried Onions | Mezze & Dolce

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Information

This entry was posted on November 13, 2012 by in Mezze, Soups and tagged , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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