Posts tagged ‘Biba’s Italy’

August 18, 2012

An Adapted Recipe: Biba’s minestrone, milan-style

Biba writes that this summer soup can be made with any seasonal vegetables you have on hand and can be prepared with water, chicken, vegetable or even a meat broth . Here are the veggies she uses. Use whatever amounts you have on hand.
1/4 C olive oil and a bit of butter
1 onion, chopped
garlic clove
4 large tomatoes, chopped or a can of tomatoes.
potatoes, diced
Pancetta (I omitted this and used a bit of smoked paprika, a trick I learned from andrea potter at Rooted Nutrition, which adds a smokey hint)
string beans, chopped into 2″ pieces
1/2 a head of cabbage, shredded or roughly chopped
Arborio rice (you can adapt this and use another pasta, or none at all)
Parmigiano rind (save your rinds for soups, like this one).
herbs to your liking (ie. chili flakes, thyme)

Saute the onions and pancetta until onions are lightly translucent and pancetta is starting to turn a bit golden. add garlic and chili flakes, and any dried herbs to your liking. Stir and add in your vegetables, and stir to coat your veggies with the base flavours of the onions herbs and pancetta.
Add in your broth, amounts vary depending and amount of vegetables, but I added about 1 1/2 litres of broth and 1/2 litre of water since I ran out of broth. The general rule is to have enough stock to cover the vegetables by at least an inch. At this point I popped in the cheese rind.
Bring to a boil then reduce and let simmer uncovered for 45 min.
If you want to add arborio rice or pasta, stir it in (for pasta I would cook it in a separate pot then add to the soup, otherwise the broth tends to absorb too much starch). Once your pasta is al dente, take the soup off heat and let sit.
Serve! this is very nice with a bit of parmesan shredded on top.

Adapted from “Minestroni with Beans and Rice Milan-Style” from Biba’s Italy. Biba Caggiano. Artisan, NY. 2006.