Some people think that minestrone, a classic Italian soup, is just for cooler (or cold) weather, but I do NOT agree with that. We have minestrone even when it’s warm. Every summer, we spend a week with my in-laws in Central Italy – and we always have two kinds of soup, ‘Cappelleti in Brodo’ and ‘Summer Minestrone’. The trick is what ingredients to put in the soup to give it that ‘lighter’ feeling.
For summer minestrone, the use of tons of basil and dried tomato puree – is the key. I still use vegetables that are in season, hence you find zucchini and green beans in this summer minestrone recipe. Regarding peeling of vegetables, it’s all up to you whether you like to keep the skin or not. Either way, just make sure they are properly washed. Personally, when I have organic ones, ONLY then do I keep the skin on.
As for the dried tomato puree, you can buy dried tomato in the supermarket, leave them in water for a while to soften, drain and then blitz them with a bit of olive oil – that is totally fine. But for me, as I mentioned in one of my salad recipes (Fried Mozzarella & Tomato Salad), I prefer to dry my own at home. Afterwards, I just add a bit of olive oil and blitz them. Sometimes I also add a bit of salt (and pepperoncino, or smoked paprika – depending on the dish AND my mood 🙂 ).
I know some people prefer to cook their minestrone for a shorter time. Not me though. I actually find it relaxing – the whole ‘waiting’ while it simmers. (I know, weird!). Well, whatever works. 😉
One last thing, we always serve summer minestrone in room temperature. Just give it a try! 😀
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 small onion, sliced finely
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded & diced
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 75 grams green beans, diced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp dried tomato puree
- 200 grams cannellini beans, cooked
- handful of parsley, chopped roughly
- handful of basil, chopped roughly (set more aside for serving)
- 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- salt for seasoning
Heat up olive oil in a large pot (or Dutch oven), over medium heat. Once oil is ready, add garlic and onion. Cook until onion becomes tender.
Add celery, carrot, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes and beans. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and dried tomato puree. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for an hour.
Add cannellini beans, parsley and basil. Continue simmering for 5 to 7 minutes. Add salt to season.
Turn off the heat and add half of the grated parmigiano. Mix to combine.
Serve on soup bowls and add more chopped basil (and parmigiano, if desired) on top.