Minestrone is a type of Italian soup made with different types of vegetables and sometimes pasta and meat. There is no set recipe for this dish and usually any vegetables can be used but there are popular ones like carrots, celery, beans, onions and tomatoes. This dish is very popular in Italian tables and it is as nearly as popular as pasta dishes.
Minestrone soup have been existing even before the Roman empire and during those days the local diet were mostly vegetarian. The minestrone we know now origianted from a dish called “pulte”, a popular dish during those days where it is made out of a simple porridge made out of spelt flour cooked in salt water and an array of vegetables available to them. Then in 2nd century B.C. roads networks were created and a lot of products flooded Rome and changed the diets of the locals where meats were introduced so soups started to contain stocks and spelt flour were omitted. Though meats were introduced this simple vegetable soup dish remained as a staple. Then in the 16th century tomatoes and potatoes were introduced coming from the Americas and it became an essential ingredient of the minestrone.
For todays recipe I will be using sweet potatoes instead of the usual potatoes to give it a sweet taste which will contrast the savoury soup, the result was so good even a non vegetable lover would love it.
200g bacon rashers or pancetta, chopped
2 cups cooked cannellini beans
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Savoy cabbage, chopped
1 large can chopped tomatoes
4-5 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a pot add oil then fry bacon until golden brown. Remove from pot then set aside.
2. Add onions and garlic then saute until onions starts to sweat.
3. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and flour (sprinkle evenly) then continuously stir for 2 minutes.
4. Add the cooked bacon, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, oregano and thyme, bring it to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes in low heat.
5. Add the cabbage and cannellini beans then simmer for 10 more minutes in low heat.
6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then serve.