What are the first three words that come to mind when you think about minestrone?
Mines are gramma, heart-warming and yummy.
There are hundreds more I can think of, but those three are definitely the first ones. And gramma definitely comes first.
Because you see, my gramma used to make the best minestrone on the planet. Chock full of veggies, goodness and love.
On cold winter Saturdays when, as a kid, I used to go to her place for lunch after school, she would often serve a piping hot bowl of classic italian Minestrone with a couple of slices of toasted bread slices on the side. It would warm my heart and soul.
On special occasions, she would even serve a grilled cheese with it. Which is - to date - one of my fave meals ever.
OK, I’ll concede you that when it came to food choices I’ve never been mainstream. At school I was the one eating salads, I was the one eating fruit, I was the one eating soup...
But gramma’s minestrone was in its own league. So good, anyone who tasted it, immediately fell under her spell.
Wholesome, heart-warming and full of goodness. Basically, the best. Ha!
All you’re left to do, is to throw everything in one pot and fugget about it.
However, if you want to achieve gramma’s level of goodness you have to put a lot of love into it.
That’s the only way to succeed.
8 cups / 2 lt water
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, mashed
5 celery ribs, diced
5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 cup green beans (I used frozen ones)
1 cup green peas (I used frozen ones)
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 zucchini, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh chopped basil
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
Fine grain sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
In the largest pan you have heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until everything is nice and fragrant.
Add potatoes and saute for 3 minutes, until they start sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add green beans, green peas, tomatoes, zucchini, tomato paste and give a quick stir.
Add water, basil and parsley, 1 large teaspoon of salt, a generous amount of black pepper and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook until vegetables are tender and soup is flavorful, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Taste and adjust with seasoning.
Serve warm or hot, with a drizzle of olive oil, some ground black pepper and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.
One serving yields 175 calories, 5.4 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs and 10.3 grams of protein.