Due to the long winter we experienced, oh wait, still experiencing! in the Netherlands, soup was ‘needed’ in this household of mine..especially by this writer, an Asian who is used to the warmth of the sun that tummy always longs for something well, warm. :P This is one soup that became a favorite of both my husband and I. I guess you can always make soup with your chosen ingredients but this one was taken from my ‘Italy: Culture and Kitchen’ book.
Minestra (soup) has two types according to the book:
1. minestra in brodo – bouillon with vegetables, noodles or rice
2. zuppa - thick soup base that often eaten with sliced bread.
Minestrone is one of the easiest and most known soup because it has also many varieties. But I’m not going to discuss them all because I’m not an expert of this topic, really. I just want to share with you my version of this recipe, some ingredients were not available/not used.
Ingredients: (serves 2 persons)
- 200 pre-soaked white kidney beans,then cooked.
- 2 medium potatoes, cut in small cubes
- 2 medium carrots (get the young ones for sweetness)
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 /2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small courgette, cut in small cubes
- 2 medium cubed tomatoes (skin peeled, deseeded )
- 150 g green peas (pre soaked and cooked or frozen. I eliminated this one because it’s not good for my husband’s gout)
- 125 parelgort (pearl barley, didn’t use this as well due to unavailability)
- 125 smoked bacon (your choice) sliced
- 50 g Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. finely chopped basilicum (basil) I used dried leaves.
- salt and pepper to taste
In a big soup pan, over medium heat glaze the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Followed by the potatoes, carrots and 2 liters water , cover with pan lid and let boil for about 45mins. – 1 hr over low heat. Throw in the courgettes, tomatoes, green peas & barley (if using them), elery and bacon. Stir regularly or when needed. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
Before serving, use the parmesan and basil. My bowl was parmesan rich but my husband wasn’t..he’s one of those rare Dutch men who doesn’t like cheese.
I say, Enjoy your soup!
NOTE: I forgot to add, LEGUMES such as beans isn’t good for people with gout…hence yes, my poor husband had an attack after eating this. My fault since I forgot to exclude it as well. Bacon should have been excluded from his bowl too!