For the few people who aren't familiar with it, Minestrone is a pretty straightforward vegetable soup with some small pasta mixed in. Minestrone alla Genovese is no exception. However, what sets this version apart is the addition of basil pesto to the soup. When I went through Liguria's cuisine the first time, I talked about pesto being traditional to this area of Italy. The addition of pesto to the soup lends a wonderful fresh basil flavor and brings a well known Italian soup to a whole new level.
This recipe is great for the summer (so long as it's not a 90 degree day) when vegetables are abundant and varied. You can really use whatever you would like, and whatever you have available to you. For Ryan and I, I chose to use celery, onion, carrot, potato, tomato and zucchini. Making your own stock for this soup is quite easy, but you can feel free to use canned stock if you like.
Minestrone alla Genovese
Adapted from Italian Regional Cooking by Ada Boni, 1969
8 cups vegetable stock
1 stick celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 zucchini, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 pound small pasta (I prefer Ditalini)
1 tablespoon pesto
- Add the vegetable stock to a large pot. Add the celery, carrot, onion, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 1 hour.
- Add the zucchini, potato, and tomato and simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Add the ditalini and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, add the pesto and stir to combine.
- Serve hot with fresh parmigiano reggiano sprinkled over the top.
Ryan's rating of Potato Croquettes - 4
1 - Awful. If you make this again I'll shove a fork in my eye.
2 - Meh. It's not my favorite, but I won't threaten self-harm if it shows up again.
3 - Good. I wouldn't feel forced to order a pizza behind your back.
4 - Great! I will fight you for the leftovers.
5 - Love it! Make it again tomorrow. Or immediately and I will bathe in it.