What is Minestrone?
Minestrone is a thick and hearty soup of Italian origin. This soup’s name comes from the Italian minestra, which means soup. It is made with vegetables like celery, French beans, onions, carrots, tomatoes, but pasta, rice, cranberry beans, and meat may be added, depending on the recipe. This dish is often made as a vegetarian dish. Broth made from vegetables, beef, chicken, may also be added to the soup.
- This dish can be seasoned with cheese, spices, and herbs.
- However, the soup may vary widely depending on the ingredients used.
Some of the most popular soups around the world include:
- Gazpacho (Spain)
- Harira (Morocco)
- Laksa (Malaysia / Singapore)
- Minestrone (Italy)
- Tom Yum (Thailand)
- Tortilla Soup (Mexico)
- Caldo Verde (Portugal)
- Pho (Vietnam)
- Onion Soup (France)
- Wonton Soup (China)
- Chupe de Marisco (Perú)
- Goulash (Hungary)
- Ramen (Japan)
- Borscht (Russia/Ukraine)
Soups have long held importance in various cuisines around the world. In Italy, any hearty and rich soup is known as minestra. Since before Ancient Rome, there have been records of soups made with spelt flour and vegetables. Nowadays, minestrone has no set recipe and is often made with leftovers or whatever is available. Nonetheless, this soup maintains a reputation as one of the most popular Italian soups in the United States.
Nutritional profile for minestrone (1 cup):
In addition, minestrone soup also contains magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, folic acid, folate, choline, carotene, lycopene, lutein + zeaxanthin, and vitamin K. Depending on the ingredients used in the soup, it may also offer more nutrients. This dish makes a healthy choice, especially when made from scratch, as you can control its sodium levels.
Minestrone can be made with a variety of ingredients in the kitchen. First, the vegetables chosen are chopped and sauteed in oil and cooked until they are soft. Then, the herbs and spices are added, after which the broth is poured into the pot. Other seasonings like salt and pepper are added to the liquid and it is allowed to cook until everything blends well. Next, pasta, beans, rice, and meat are separately cooked and added and the soup is allowed to cook further. It may be garnished with coriander, pesto, or parmesan cheese. The soup is often served with bread or meat.
Minestrone soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Also, it may be frozen, though the texture of the dish changes after thawing and reheating. Bear in mind that minestrone containing pasta does not freeze well.
This soup may have several variations and can be prepared in many different ways. Here are a few recipes to try:
The FDA describes all fresh vegetables as raw agricultural commodities and strictly regulates all aspects of their growing, harvesting, packing, and storage. Chickpeas, kidney beans, and other types of dried lentils fall under the category of food that is rarely consumed raw. The FDA classifies pasta under macaroni products, which is defined as food prepared by drying units of dough made from semolina, durum flour, farina, flour, or a combination of these with water and other optional ingredients. Also, the FDA defines a standard of identity for white rice, also known as enriched rice.
Minestrone, The Nosey Chef, https://noseychef.com/2018/03/21/minestrone/
Castellana, Fabio et al. “Traditional Old Dietary Pattern of Castellana Grotte (Apulia) Is Associated with Healthy Outcomes.” Nutrients vol. 12,10 3097. 12 Oct. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12103097, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7600964/