Whether it is winter or summer my favourite dish will always be minestrone.
It is so refreshing, healthy and delicious and can also be enjoyed cold during the hottest summer months.
There are many ways to make minestrone. It varies from region to region but, really it is entirely up to you. Just add whichever vegetable you fancy and add rice or pasta if you like too.
Many people stir fry the onion, the finely chopped carrots and celery, but I prefer to skip this step for a more lighter minestrone.
Often it is difficult to find fresh beans so I use dry ones instead, soak them overnight and cook them for over an hour. If you don't have much time in your hands you can use canned beans instead; borlotti would be best but you can use any other type if you cannot find them.
Of course the freshest the ingredients the tastier the dish. You might find making minestrone its time consuming but as most things in life you'll find that it will be worth the effort and you will find yourself making it over and over again!
- Prep Time : 45 minutes
- Cook Time : 50 min +1 hour for the beans minutes
If using dry beans soak them overnight in cold water. Put them in a colander to drain the water and rinse them under the tap, put them in a large sauce spoon and cover them with cold water. Add 2 garlic cloves and 2 bay leaves. Bring to the boil, put the top on and cook for over an hour over a low heat. Add a tsp of salt in the last 10 minutes of cooking
Shell the peas; peel the potatoes, wash and chop all the vegetables into cubes
Put them in a large sauce spoon, cover with cold water, add salt and pepper, the basil leaves, the stock cube and the crusts of Parmesan cheese. Put the top on and bring to the boil. Cook for 50 minutes
Drain the beans in a colander, remove the bay leafs and the garlic and put them in the pot with the cooked vegetables, add some grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tbsp of olive oil and stir well.
Enjoy warm or cold during the hottest summer months.