I love Minestrone. When I was a child, I am told I would eat two big bowls of it (while my little brother had to be distracted by playing with boats in a water tub because he hated all things except peanut butter sandwiches without crusts and mashed potato). As an adult? I do the same.
Everyone has their own minestrone recipe, and truthfully, I never do the same thing twice and believe Minestrone can be made out of the vegetables that haven't been used yet at the end of the week (I endorse this fully, less waste!), but this recipe is my ideal situation and my perfect mix.
The only 100% necessary constant for me? Pumpkin. And the soup MUST be cooked until the pumpkin has disintegrated to make it thick and decadent.
Yes, vegetables in soup is decadent to me.
So here it is - my Minestrone, or, as Nonna calls it, 'Minestra'
(stay tuned for the behind the scenes snaps & styling tips at the bottom).
The best part about Minestrone?
It's all chop-chop-chop and throw in a pot.
You will need;
- 1/2 a medium sized pumpkin, chopped into small-ish cubes
- 1 large white potato, diced larger than the pumpkin
- 2 sticks of celery, sliced
- 1/4 of a cabbage, shredded roughly (with a knife will do)
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped roughly (including stem)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 can of the best quality crushed tomatoes you can get
- About 150gms of pasta of your choice (my choice? Always thin spaghetti).
- 1 can of cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Fresh herbs (oregano or basil) or dried oregano.
- Parmesan cheese, and the rind if possible (or this is a great time to use that left over rind).
To make it;
1. Pop all of the ingredients except for the chickpeas and pasta in a pot and top with water. Include your parmesan rind too, if you have one.
2. Bring to the boil and then simmer - most likely for about 90 minutes, or until the pumpkin is mushy (important!).
3. Add the chickpeas and pasta (and a little extra water, if needed, as the pasta will absorb a lot), and cook until the pasta is al dente (or, 'all dental', if my spell check is to be trusted).
4. To serve, season to taste and top with even more parmesan cheese, grated on top.
(My Nonna likes to make it with a fresh chilli inside so the heat works through the soup, which is delicious, but the chillies I have at the moment are too hot for it!)
I thought it would also be fun to start sharing a few behind the scenes snaps (just from my phone, nothing fancy), with each post. So, see below (and you're always welcome to ask me questions via Insta DM or email - firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll do my best to answer them in future posts).
And finally, as I'm not into eating cold food, and therefore super passionate about photographing food the day after (as this was), my top tip for photographing soup the day after without having to heat it?
Mix extra water through it to get it's warmed consistency before you put it in the bowls, and once it's in the bowl, spray the top with water if anything looks a bit dry.
(I'll be sharing more tips on my newsletter over coming months - if you'd like to be included, head here).
Don't forget to tag me (@natalie.zee) or email me if you give this recipe a try, I'd love to see it & share it on my stories!
And what were the three ingredients not pictured? Canned tomatoes, cheese rind & chickpeas!
Thanks for reading,