Minestrone soup has got to be one of my favourite Italian dishes that are the most easiest to make and the most hearty to eat!! There is no set ingredients for minestrone soups - just what vegetables there is available during the season. I like my soup base as chicken stock but you can always have it just vegetarian or beef stocks.
The most common ingredients that you would find in this soup are carrots, potatoes, onion and tomatoes. I love mine with lots of tomatoes! To bulk it up a bit most people use pasta and some rice. I love mine with small pasta shells and sometimes when I am out of pasta I just eat it with rice which is always available in my kitchen. I like to use some beans as well like chickpeas, kidney beans, and those other 3 beans I have no idea what they are :P.
I like to add some meats in the soup as well. I love adding fried off bacon and chicken pieces in it. And then eating the hot meal with crusty white bread. I would make a huge 8 litre pot and finish it under a week (of course with my so :P) I can have 3 bowls of soup at a time :). Yes I eat much!
The good thing about this soup is that you can make heaps of it and can freeze it and eat it whenever you want to. But the downside is the dicing up all the vegetables :(.
For all my ingredients I make sure its equal amounts
- 4 celery sticks sliced diagonally
- 1 small sweet potato diced
- 3 small potatoes diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 small onions diced
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 can of 5 beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cans of italian herb diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of pasta shells
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- dashes of salt and black pepper
- 1 tbs light soy sauce (yes I used soy sauce :) )
- 5 slices of middle rasher bacon diced
- 2 kg of chicken thighs cleaned and skin on
- olive oil to saute the veges
- 2L of water
- First in a huge stock pot, add oil, oregano and saute onions and garlic til a bit brown. Then add all the VEGETABLES and stir til well covered in the oil. Cover for about 10 minutes.
- Then add 2L of water and cover. Wait til it forms bubbles and boils.
- Add the chicken pieces and let cook for about 20 minutes or til tender and cooked through. To check remove one chicken and cut through the thickest part of the meat and if the juices are red, it is not done. If it is clear you know it is done.
- While the chicken is cooking, in another sauce pan fry the bacon pieces til the fat parts become crispy and then set aside.
- The chicken should be done. Remove all of the chicken and in a big bowl run the chicken under water. I always do this so it will stop the cooking process. Set aside and let cool. Strip chicken pieces and set aside.
- Add the beans, tomatoes and stir. Wait til boil again and add in the pasta and stir through. Cook for another 8 minutes or til the pasta is ready.
- Stir in salt, pepper and soy sauce to taste.
- Ladle the hot soup over medium sized bowls and add strips of chicken pieces on top. Serve with crusty bread.