One of the great classics of Italian cuisine, minestrone actually has no particular set recipe other than it being a thick soup made with vegetables. Some recipes add pasta or rice, some add chicken stock, making it unsuitable for vegetarians. The writer Angelo Pellegrini (1904-1991) argued that an authentic minestrone must have a bean broth base, and barlotti beans at that. This recipe uses pearl barley and butter beans.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 carrots, diced
- 70 fluid ounces / 2 litres Bouillon veg stock
- 1 tin butter beans, drained
- 5¼ ounces / 150g pearl barley
- ½ large cabbage
- 10½ ounces / 300g asparagus spears
- 10½ ounces / 300g tenderstem broccoli
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish on a low-medium heat.
Blitz the onions and celery in a food processor and add to the casserole dish.
Cook for 5 minutes, then add the carrots and reduce to a low heat and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring regularly.
Turn up the heat, add the stock, beans, pearl barley and the roughly chopped leaves of your cabbage until your soup comes to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes while you chop your asparagus and broccoli into 1 inch lengths.
Once the 15 minutes are up, add the asparagus and broccoli and simmer for another 7 minutes.
Season and serve with chunky bread.
According to Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) in Season 1: Episode 3 of The Big Bang Theory (The Big Bran Hypothesis) it takes about 2.6 seconds to heat up minestrone using a 500kw oxygen iodine laser.