Minestrone is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice, sometimes both. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, leaf vegetables, stock, parmesan cheese and tomatoes.
Minestrone is a thick pasta- and vegetable-based soup. You can add any number of veggies and carbs you choose to make this pasty even heartier. The core ingredients, however, are often celery, onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, olive oil, and pasta, and it can often be topped with shredded parmesan.
Why do people like Minestrone
Minestrone is rich in fiber, which helps the intestines stay healthy. “It promotes intestinal regularity and consequently the elimination of toxins and waste substances. Soluble fiber – present in artichokes, tomatoes, leeks, asparagus, onions and other vegetables – is prebiotic.
Minestrone is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as other nutrients that are essential for good health.
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Ingredients that go into Minestrone
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas all work)
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their liquid (or 2 small 15-ounce cans)
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole grain orecchiette, elbow or small shell pasta
- 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or chopped collard greens
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishing (optional)
How to cook Minestrone
- Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
- Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1” gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt (I usually add about ¼ teaspoon more) and pepper until the flavors really sing. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan, if you’d like.
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What can Minestrone be served together with
- Dinner rolls
- Garlic bread
- Baked potato or roasted sweet potatoes
- Chopped or Caesar salad
- Roasted vegetables such as carrots, green beans, butternut squash, bell peppers or any fresh seasonal vegetables
- Grilled cheese sandwich
- Pizza or calzone
- Grilled chicken
- Mozzarella sticks
- Antipasto skewers
- Pizza pasta bake
- Ham or bacon
- Roast beef
Other popular Italian food
Besides Minestrone, there are other Italian food dishes that are highly popular in Singapore and around the world. Below is a list of some of the most mentioned ones:
- Bagna Cauda
- Fritto misto piemontese
- Gelato (Ice cream)
- I formaggi ( the Cheeses)
- Il Tartufo (The Truffle)
- Olive Ascolante (Ascoli olives)
- Panzerotto fritto (Fried Panzerotto)
- Pesto Alla Genovese
- Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham)
- Sardine in Saor
- Tortelli and Ravioli