White Beans Minestrone Soup

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Warm Soup for the cold weather

That’s it, winter is here! It is very cold outside and a thick layer of snow covers the ground. It’s time for a nice bowl of hot soup! I don’t know about you, but I like to know the origin of the food I cook. Where it’s coming from and how the recipe started. So, here is a little bit of history of the word minestrone. In the meaning of thick vegetable soup, it was attested in English from 1871. The word comes from the Italian word for “that which is served”, and cognitively similar to “administer” as in “administer a remedy”. This soup could often contain herbs, beans, bits of pasta, ect., and it is served with Parmesan cheese.

Minestrone is now known in Italy as belonging to the style of cooking called “Cucina Povera” (literally “poor kitchen”) meaning dishes that have rustic, rural roots, as opposed to “cucina nobile” or the cooking style of the aristocracy and nobles.

Minestrone style

There are two schools of thought on when the recipe for minestrone became more formalized. One argues that in the 17th and 18th centuries minestrone emerged as a soup using exclusively fresh vegetables and was made for its own sake (meaning it no longer relied on left-overs), while the other school of thought argues that the dish had always been prepared exclusively with fresh vegetables for its own sake since the pre-Roman pulte, but the name minestrone lost its meaning of being made with left-overs.

I used leftovers of my white cooked beans for this recipe. Therefore, you can call it a real authentic Minestrone! 🙂 If you don’t have leftovers of beans, you can simply use canned beans or dry beans.

Tips: If you use dry beans, soak them all night in water to reduce cooking time. Next morning, boil them for about 2 hours, and they should be tender enough to put into your soup.

White Beans Minestrone Soup

by Melanie Dompierre
Quantity for: 8 people
PREP TIME30 mins
COOK TIME2 hrs
TOTAL TIME2 hrs 30 mins
This hearty soup is perfect for a cold day or anytime you want a lunch packed with energy. The cooking time doesn't include soaking the beans (if you use dry beans). Prepare them in advance.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white beans (cannellini)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (cut in half-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion (cut in half-inch pieces)
  • 1 carrot (cut in half-inch pieces)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 zucchini (cut in half-inch pieces)
  • 1 eggplant (cut in half-inch pieces, fried)
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 2 tbsp dry basil
  • 1 tbsp dry oregano
  • 1 diced fresh tomato (about 1/2-inch size)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 24 oz cooked tomatoes or a tomato coulis (680 g)
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (for frying)
  • to your taste salt
  • to your taste pepper

Instructions

  • Cut all your vegetables and set them aside.
  • Take a big pot, cast iron or stainless steel.
  • Fry the eggplants with the vegetable oil in the pot.
  • After the eggplants are fried, add the onion and garlic and fry them just a little bit.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, except the orzo pasta.
    White Beans Minestrone Soup
  • Put your pot on a low-to-medium fire and cook for about 1 hour.
  • After an hour, fish out a bean or two, and taste to see if they are tender enough and if you need to add more salt and pepper.
  • If after one hour the beans are tender and the vegetables are getting tender too, add the orzo pasta.
  • Let it cook another 1 hour and your soup should be ready!

Notes

Did you make that recipe ..... tag me @mel4skilletsandpots on Instagram and hashtag it #skilletsandpots. 

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
You can easily add more grated Parmesan cheese on top. You can never have too much cheese! 🙂
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Written by Melanie Dompierre

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