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Italian Minestrone Soup

Italian Minestrone Soup: Beginner's guide

Sylia
A bursting-with-flavor Italian minestrone soup made with veggies that are hanging out in your pantry plus a handy beginner's guide will show you how to cook this legendary dish like a pro.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 leeks, the white part, diced
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced, no longer than ½ inch (1.2 cm)
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1½ cup (200g) fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 medium golden potatoes, peeled and diced, no longer than ½ inch (1.2 cm)
  • 3 cups fresh tomatoes, diced or 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 6-8 cups (1½-2 liters) hot vegetable or chicken or beef broth or hot water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (15 ounces) rinsed and drained small white beans (Northern or canellini beans, cooked
  • 1 cup (100g) ditalini or macaroni or orzo*
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS (for serving)

  • Freshly grated or shavings of Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider
  • freh basil or parsley or celery (leaves or stalk), finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat 4 tablespoons olive oil on medium to high heat. Add the onion for 2 minutes and then the leek and celery until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and then the potatoes, about 2 minutes, the peas, 2 minutes and the carrots, 2 more minutes. Stir frequently and low the heat if the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Time to pour in the diced tomatoes. If canned, discard the liquid and stir in for 5 minutes. Add 8 cups (2 liters) hot broth or hot water. If tomatoes are fresh, keep the juices, stir in for 5 minutes and add 6-7 cups (about 1½ liter) hot broth or hot water.
  • Add bay leaves, red pepper flakes (optional), salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover partially the pot with the lid. Cook until potatoes and carrots are slightly tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Uncover the pot, add the pasta* and the beans. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Continue simmering for 15 minutes until the pasta* and the vegetables are tender enough to your liking. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.
  • If you have cooked pasta separately, stir it into each plate and add a ladleful of soup on top.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese or other toppings of choice.

Notes

Note: In case you use pasta, you got two options. You may simmer the pasta along with the vegetables (see above step #4) or you can cook it separately and stir it into the soup upon serving. 
Keyword Italian Minestrone Soup