To me, all dishes I end up loving carry with them the story of when, where and with whom I first had them. When it comes to minestrone, I wish I could tell you I had it on a narrow Italian street as I was visiting that beautiful country, but the reality is, I first tried minestrone on a dark day, in a tiny Italian restaurant in the middle of Berlin, with my friend Sam. I loved it instantly but it wasn´t until years later that I finally tried doing it myself at home. And now, after much testing and tasting, I bring you this recipe (inspired by Magnolia´s Table). Minestrone is an ancient soup, literally dating from B.C. times, in what was the Roman empire. And while you can technically throw in it any veggies, I find that there are a few “cannot miss” ones – like celery and carrot. Anyway, read on to see how I make minestrone for the whole block.
(serves a whole block – or eight people)
five garlic cloves
260g canned beans
400g pasta (ideally orecchiette)
a can of crushed tomatoes
a can of diced tomatoes
2 l vegetable broth
some leaves fresh basil
four tbsp grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1. Start by prepping the veggies – wash the celery and chop it along with the zucchini and carrots into medium dices. Chop the onion very finely and crush the garlic.
2. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and fry the chopped onion in it until golden. Next, add the chopped garlic and fry for another minute.
3. Add the diced celery, zucchini and carrots, season with a teaspoon of salt and one of pepper, and cook for about five minutes. Adding some water if the pot gets too dry.
4. Add the two cans of crushed and diced tomatoes, stir and cook for another two minutes, next adding the vegetable broth (alternatively, just add 2 l of boiling water and two Knorr cubes). Set the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Add the pasta and boil according to package instructions (around 10 – 12 minutes for orecchiette), and two minutes before the time is up add the spinach and the beans.
6. Serve with grated parmesan and fresh basil.