Recipe: Minestrone

A bonus recipe from The Homemade Kitchen by Alana Chernila.

Kara Rota
1-minute read

Minestrone is a soup of scraps, and because the recipe is infinitely changeable depending on what you have, it’s a soup of the moment. Start with the aromatics. Dice a large onion and, if you have them, a few carrots and ribs of celery. Cook in a mix of butter and olive oil, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Add a few finely chopped garlic cloves along with a handful of fresh herbs. If you don’t have fresh, use dried, but just a teaspoon or so of each. Thyme, rosemary, sage, and marjoram are great here. If you have basil, save it for the finished bowl. Throw in a teaspoon of salt and a bay leaf and continue to cook for a few minutes.

From here, you have a great base. Add any combination of diced leeks, hearty greens sliced into ribbons, peeled and cubed winter squash, diced zucchini, and green or yellow beans cut into 1-inch lengths.

Add the tomatoes. This can be 2 cups of roasted tomatoes, 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes, or 2 medium fresh tomatoes, cored and diced. Include any liquid from the can, jar, or bag.

Finally, add the extras. Add any or some combination of cooked beans (cannellini and chickpeas are my favorites here), cooked pasta, or cooked grain.

Scoop into big bowls and finish with your toppings. A drizzle of olive oil, grated parmesan, pesto, or coarsely chopped basil are all wonderful here.

Storage notes: This freezes well, as long as it doesn’t have pasta. Freeze in airtight containers for up to 6 months.

Recipes reprinted from Homemade Kitchen. Copyright ©2015 by Alana Chernila. Photographs by Jennifer May. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.