Minestrone Soup is known just about everywhere, but it's also known to be different, everywhere you get it. It can be roughly defined as "stuff in broth". It's always a combination of vegetables, occasionally with meats or sausages, sometimes with pasta or rice, occasionally with cheese, etc. It's another one of those Italian concepts that super loose, but everyone knows what it is and what it is that makes it a minestrone, even if they can't verbalize it (much like I'm not, right now!).
I personally consider it a chunky vegetable soup. When I make it, I always look around for whatever veggies are in season. Then, I cut them all into small, similarly shaped sizes and set them aside. Then, I take a broth of some kind (usually chicken), and bring it to a simmer. Then, I tend to find a meat (usually sausage) and sauté it with another veggie or two (usually peppers, peppers, mushrooms and/or zucchini). Then, I usually add the cut raw veggies to broth, for about 5 minutes. If I have them, and if I'm feeling good about things, I usually add a few white beans, at this point. Beans are a big part of the Minestrone lore, so it makes me feel that much more like I'm making Minestrone. I just try not to add so many it boosts the carbs by much. I usually add macaroni elbows at this time, and cook them in the broth. I also usually add the sautéed veggies and sausage to the pool. I let this all simmer and blend for a total of about 7 minutes, or until the veggies are just cooked and the pasta is al dente. Then, perhaps because I'm a nut, I add diced fresh tomatoes, fresh hand-torn basil and grated parmesan cheese. If I'm feeling spunky, and I've got it on hand, I'm also known to throw some pesto into the bowl!
When I make it, every batch is different. Listed below is something that more or less approximates a slightly more complicated version than what I usually do. What's listed below is a little more refined and balanced, with more developed flavors. I hope you like it!
Dreamfield's Nutrition Disclaimer: Due to the magic of the fiber coated matrix, a single 56 gram portion is shown as having 5 grams of digestable carbs. However, my recipe system isn't designed to display their nutrition information in the magical way in which they've been able to. As a result, I'm fudging the numbers to show 42 grams of carbs, with 37 grams of fiber. Technically, this isn't true, but it's the only way to have the math display numbers that match Dreamfield's claims.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 6 Servings
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/4 cup carrot peeleed and cut into small cubes
- 1 small onion peeled and diced
- 1 each celery rib cut into small cubes
- 2 each garlic cloves minced
- 4 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/4 lb (about 5) plump cremini or button mushrooms quartered
- 1 each small green zucchini cut into small cubes
- 1/2 lb raw italian sausage
- 1/4 large bunch broccoli including stalks, cut into florets
- 1/4 lb green string beans ends and string removed and cut lengthwise into thin strips
- 1/4 cup canned white beans
- 1/2 cup low carb pasta elbows
- 1 each large ripe tomatoes coursely chopped
- 18 leaves fresh basil hand torn
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized soup pot, sweat the carrot, celery, onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil. Sweat until the onions are translucent.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Heat a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tbsp olive oil and the zucchini and mushrooms. Season with a little salt and pepper.
After 2 minutes, add the Italian sausage. Break the sausage apart into small bits and cook until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, zucchini, sausage, broccoli, string beans, white beans and elbow pasta to the soup pot. Allow to simmer for 6 minutes (do not overcook the pasta, or else the fiber matrix starts to break down and you may absorb more carbs ... 6 minutes will undercook the pasta by 2 minutes, but will allow a few more minutes for the pasta to be in the soup, while serving and garnishing).
Add the fresh diced tomatoes (I just like the fresh quality that this last second addition adds to the soup). Add the hand torn basil and stir it into the soup.
Split between 6 soup bowls, garnishing each with a heavy tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese.
Serving: 6g | Calories: 337.53333333333kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.8g | Protein: 17.785g | Fat: 21.613333333333g | Fiber: 9.5383333333333g