Minestrone alla Genovese
Want to live to see a 100? My gut tells me this is the way to go. Minestrone alla Genovese is a vegetable soup prepared in the Ligurian region of Italy. The key to this dish is to use fresh, seasonal vegetables. That said, it will probably taste a little different every time you make it but, that's what keeps it interesting! The constant is the fragrant pesto and the rind of Parmeggiano Reggiano. Honestly, if I wanted to make this soup and didn't have the rind, I'd make a quick run to the store. The cheese gets soft and gooey and dissolves into the soup as it cooks, giving it a delicious and distinctive flavor. Most traditional recipes do not call for blending the soup, but my Nonna always did and it makes it smooth and creamy. If you are in the mood for a blended soup, sink your immersion blender into the pot and blitz it before you add the pasta. Smooth or chunky, minestrone is a healthy, hearty soup loaded with wholesome goodness!
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 medium sized zucchini
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 large potato
- 2 cups chopped spinach or chard
- 8 cups water
- 2 tbspn olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups cannelini or borlotti beans
- 1 Parmiggiano Reggiano Rind
- 2 tspns salt
- 2 cups pasta any short pasta, ditalini, vermicelli broken into small pieces
- 1 cup pesto
- grated parmiggiano reggiano
- Begin by prepping the vegetables. Cube the onion, celery, carrot, green beans and zucchini. Peel and cube the potato. Chop the spinach. Slice the chard.
- Put the vegetables in a large pot and add water.
- Add olive oil.
- Add salt.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
- Add the canned beans and the Parmeggiano Reggiano rind and continue cooking for about 40 minutes, or until most of the cheese has disintegrated into the soup.
- While the soup is simmering, get started on the pesto. Add the basil, salt and garlic to a food processor.
- Stream in the olive oil and blitz until well blended.
- A quick note about the pesto. Most pesto recipes call for pine nuts, however it's traditional not to include them in a pesto made for Minestrone alla Genevose.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
- When the pasta is done, turn off the heat and stir in the pesto.
- Serve in bowls and top with freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano and a drizzle of good olive oil.