Italian cuisine has gained considerable popularityall over the world these days. However, this popularity is achieved thanks to literally 2-3 dishes: pizza, pasta, pesto sauce. In Russia only special admirers are familiar with all variety of Italian cuisine. Nevertheless, among Russian housewives, interest in Italian dishes is genuine. It must be that many housewives have heard of such a dish as the soup minestrone. Often the most accurate and precise recipe is of interest. It would seem that the name sounds quite exotic, you can even think that this is some delicacy that is inaccessible to the middle class. However, in reality this soup is something like our soup-saltwort: it is a simple meal, accessible even to the poor, which was especially appreciated even in ancient Rome. This "seasonal" dish, that is, its ingredients vary depending on the season. Moreover, with the passage of time, the living conditions of the Italians changed, their culture changed, their tastes changed, along with them, the changes and the recipe for the minestrone were changed, so today you can find countless varieties of it: from the classic vegetable to the cooked meat broth. "Minestrone" is translated from Italian as "big soup": the ingredients do not occupy the dish. If you believe the Italian legend, the soup was accidentally invented by the ancient Roman cook, his recipe has come down to our days, even if the name of the chef himself was forgotten. Since then, soup was prepared from 7 vegetables, 7 varieties of meat using 7 spices. Moreover, according to legend, the minestrone symbolized the seven virtues of the cardinal. Whether invented for the beauty of the legend, or indeed the number 7 had in ancient Rome some special significance - who now knows? There is no permanent exact minestrone recipe, there are several reasons for this. Firstly, as already mentioned, seasonal soup, that is, its recipe depends on the vegetables available at a particular time of the year. Secondly, it has many variations in different regions of Italy. Thirdly, the Italian housewives are accustomed to adding to it any products that are lying around in their fridge. And at all times in the preparation of this soup a big role was given to culinary improvisation. Therefore, in this article, we give the basic rules of preparation and a list of possible additional ingredients, introduce the reader to some of the subtleties of the preparation and give some advice.
The traditional composition of the soup minestrone: about 375 g of white beans (you can 100 g of green beans)
- 2 zucchini,
- 2 carrots,
- 2 stems of leeks,
- 1 clove of garlic,
- half a kilo of cabbage,
- half a bulb,
- 1 stalk of celery,
- 1 sprig of freshly ground basil,
- 2 sprigs of freshly ground rosemary,
- 3 tomatoes (or 2 tablespoons tomato paste),
- salt, pepper to taste,
- olive oil,
- Parmesan cheese.
Preparation of soup minestrone
So, let's start cooking. The recipe requires a little advance preparation, namely: it is necessary to soak the bean beans for the night. We bring the water to a boil, cook the prepared beans for 1.5-2 hours. In the meantime, carrots, zucchini and celery are mine, cleaned, cut into cubes. If your soup is with green beans, and not with beans, at the same stage, we cut the pods. Grind the onions with garlic, fry in a saucepan in olive oil, add carrots, zucchini and celery, stew. An alternative to these vegetables can serve potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, pepper, pumpkin and other vegetables. In the next step, we cut a part of the finished bean in a blender, mix it with stewed vegetables, put it all in a pot of boiling water (about 2.25 liters), add chopped cabbage and tomatoes (or tomato paste) and cook for 30 minutes over low heat. It is permissible to use different types of cabbage, whether it is broccoli or colored. Note that in some cases, the recipe also involves grinding a portion of stewed vegetables with a string bean in a blender. You can put pasta or rice in soup. All of the above can be cooked in a meat broth. Italian meat eaters like to use in such cases pancetta - bacon from pork brisket dried in salt and spices. However, it is perfectly permissible to replace it with an ordinary chicken or pork ham. Less common is the minestrone with offal. Be careful not to overdo it with water: Minestrone is simply obliged to get rich! At the last stage, salt, pepper, put spices with herbs. In addition to the spices listed in the ingredients, you can add bay leaf, fennel, basil, sage, rosemary. Italian gourmets advise to add grape wine. Experienced chefs believe that it is necessary to give the soup to be at least half an hour. There is an opinion that the apogee of its taste soup reaches on the second day after cooking.
Recommendations for filing
Recipe recommends serving soup onlypreviously sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese. What else can you submit to the minestrone? The answer to this question depends on the imagination of the hostess and the availability of products. The most popular options: fried bread or crackers, ciabatta, famous Italian pesto sauce, sour cream, parsley.
The recipe for pesto sauce
As an add-on I'll give the recipe the most popularseasoning, with which serve soup minestrone - pesto sauce. This is also a classic Italian sauce, and it also has a lot of variations. With him you can serve a lot of dishes: salads and pasta, meat and fish dishes. Its basis is olive oil, basil, pine nuts, some kind of hard cheese (traditionally sheep cheese or parmesan). In the traditional version of the sauce, seeds of pine are used. My basil, we clean and grind garlic, cheese three on a grater. Pine nuts can be fried without oil, and can not be processed. According to the Italian tradition, all these ingredients are pounded in a mortar from marble with a wooden pestle. This is left to the discretion of the hostesses: some will give preference to the speed and take advantage of the blender. The sauce is ready! The pesto recipe also allows experiments. Instead of cedar nuts, you can use walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds. In addition to basil, the sauce harmoniously fits parsley, dill, spinach, arugula and even mint. And in Sicily in the sauce do not add nuts, but put there tomatoes.