Any minestrone recipe is by definition a soup consisting of a variety of different vegetables - simply, a vegetable soup.
Americans may be used to a red-broth based version of this Italian classic, but growing up all of the minestrone, or "minestra", I ever ate was full of leafy greens and other fresh produce. YUM!
Substitute sweet potatoes or parsnips if you don't eat white potatoes.
After roasting a chicken I like to cook the bones for a rich broth that's perfect for this recipe.
If you choose to use bits of spaghetti pasta, the kids can help by breaking it up for you, while you chop the veggies.
This soup recipe serves 4 to 6 people.
Prepare all of the vegetables by washing, peeling and chopping them. Wash the fresh greens very thoroughly, especially if using escarole!
Then fill a large pot with your water or chicken stock and begin adding all the ingredients (except the pasta).
Turn the heat up to high until the water in the pot begins to boil - then turn it down to a simmer. Cook the vegetables until they begin to get soft. You can tell this when the onions begin to look transparent and your greens turn very dark in color and go limp.
Taste the broth to determine if you need to add any more salt or pepper.
Then turn up the heat one more time, throw in your pasta and let it cook for an additional 7-10 minutes. When the pasta is ready, turn off the heat and drop in the spoonful of olive oil. You're ready to serve this delectable minestrone!
Use a ladle to scoop the soup into individual dishes or bowls. Serve with grated pecorino romano and crunchy Italian bread and you've made an Italian soup that is both healthy and delicious! Buon appetito!