There are all kinds of minestrone soup (zuppa) recipes. It is basically the beef-vegetable soup of Italy. It started out as a way for the poor people of Italy to make due on the limited vegetables they had access to. The soup dates back to the Roman times when soldiers ate it as a staple. But the soup has evolved through the decades, and become a hearty soup popular throughout the world especially after the new world was discovered. Tomatoes and potatoes were brought back from Peru, and, by the 1500s, became additions to many minestrone recipes. I have tried many recipes and gradually expanded on our family recipe through the years. I suggest that you try different vegetables each time you make it to determine what suits you best.
Makes: 8 servings
- 4 tablespoons – extra virgin olive oil
- 2 – medium onions (diced)
- 1 pound – lean ground beef (lean is better for your health)
- 4 cloves – garlic (minced)
- 2 – large carrots peeled and diced
- 2 – celery stalks (diced)
- 6 ounce can – tomato paste
- 2 – bay leaves
- 10 cups – chicken stock
- ½ pound – noodles (farfalle or rotini, uncooked)
- 2 cups – cabbage (shredded)
- 2 cups – zucchini (diced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese grated
Make sure before you shred the cabbage that you remove the core from the head by literally cutting it out with a knife. Then halve and quarter it for shredding.
In a large pot, sauté the beef and onions in the olive oil until the beef is cooked and there is no moisture in the pan from the onions. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the tomato paste, carrots, and celery and continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock next along with the uncooked noodles and bay leaves. Cover and let simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes stirring periodically. Add the cabbage and zucchini and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes covered.
Cabbage and Zucchini
Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. Add Parmesan cheese to each bowl as desired.