Minestrone. Savoring Italian History

Minestrone. Savoring Italian History


Minestrone soup has a rich history that traces back to the culinary traditions of Italy. As a dish, it reflects the ethos of Italian cooking, where simplicity and the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients are key.

Ancient Origins.

Early Versions: The origins of minestrone date back to the expansion of the Roman Empire. Although the soup we know today was not yet formulated, early versions of a vegetable soup were common among the Roman populace. These soups were made from whatever vegetables were available, often flavored with herbs, olive oil, and sometimes meat or fish.

Evolution in the Middle Ages.

Rural Dish: During the Middle Ages, minestrone remained primarily a rural dish, a product of the agrarian lifestyle. It was a way for peasants to make use of leftover vegetables and ingredients, ensuring nothing went to waste.

Regional Variations: As it evolved, different regions in Italy began to develop their own versions of minestrone, reflecting local ingredients and culinary preferences.

Modern Era.

Standardization. It wasn't until the 17th and 18th centuries that recipes for minestrone began to be standardized, although variations still existed from region to region.

Global Popularity. With the migration of Italians to other parts of the world in the 19th and 20th centuries, minestrone soup gained international recognition and popularity. Each new location added its twist, further diversifying the soup’s variations.


No Fixed Recipe: Traditionally, there is no fixed recipe for minestrone. It's considered a 'cucina povera' dish, meaning 'poor kitchen', implying the use of whatever ingredients are on hand.

Seasonal Ingredients: The key to authentic minestrone is the use of seasonal vegetables, making the soup different depending on the time of year.

Variety of Ingredients. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. Rice or pasta is often added, and the soup is typically garnished with herbs.

Minestrone soup, with its humble beginnings and versatile nature, is a testament to the resourcefulness and creativity of Italian cooking. It continues to be a beloved dish worldwide, adaptable to various tastes and dietary needs.

The Mobb’s Minestrone Soup

Servings. 8
Serving Size. 1-1/2 cups


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup chopped celery
2 carrots, chopped (1 cup)
2 cups tomato sauce, reduced sodium
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, reduced sodium
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
2 cups water
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced (1 cup)
1 cup spinach, chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups canned kidney beans, drained
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup canned green peas, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pasta, cooked
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved for topping


1.     In a large stockpot, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Gently sauté the garlic until it releases its aroma, about 2 minutes.

2.     Add the chopped onion to the pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it becomes translucent, roughly 4 minutes.

3.     Mix in the celery and carrots, sautéing them briefly for 1 to 2 minutes.

4.     Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and water. Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring often.

5.     Once boiling, lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Add the zucchini, spinach, green beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, green peas, basil, parsley, and a dash of pepper.

6.     Let the soup simmer gently, allowing the flavors to meld together, for about 30 to 40 minutes.

7.     Prepare the Pasta: While the soup simmers, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water. Stir occasionally and cook until the pasta is al dente, or tender yet firm to the bite, which should take about 7 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside.

8.     Stir the cooked pasta into the soup. Mix well to distribute the pasta evenly.

9.     Serve the soup hot, garnished with Parmesan cheese shavings on top.

Enjoy your hearty and flavorful Minestrone Soup, perfect for any cozy meal!

Nutrition Information. Serving size: 1-1/2 cups. 215 Calories (kcal); 10 Protein (g); 31 Carbohydrates (g); 8 Total Dietary Fiber (g); 9 Total Sugars (g); 6 Fat (g); 2 Saturated Fat (g); 5 Cholesterol (mg); 279 Sodium (mg)

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