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Old 12-28-2017, 04:03 PM   #1
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Minestrone soup clarification

Hi, everyone.

I made minestrone soup today, based on this recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/...inestrone-soup

I managed to handle the solid ingredients successfully. I just seek clarification on the liquid component. Is there *no* water used in the mixture? What is the final ratio of water, chopped tomatoes and passata?

What I want to achieve is something like "water that has a tomato flavour, plus the flavour of all the other ingredients".

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Old 12-28-2017, 05:01 PM   #2
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The 2 liters of vegetable stock is there in place of the water. Stock has more flavor than water.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
The 2 liters of vegetable stock is there in place of the water. Stock has more flavor than water.
Yup, vegi stock is watery enough to count as water.

I don't see any passata in that recipe, just tomato puree, which is British for what North Americans call tomato paste.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:34 AM   #4
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My minestrone is composed of basic vegetables - onion, carrots, celery, then I add as many vegetables as I can put in the pot. Vegetable stock not necessary, just water. In some parts of Italy they do use off cuts of cockerel, legs, neck, head, but the main parts are generally used for main meals - after all, we're talking mains with that. Over here, there are lots of different ways of doing minestrone. Your minestrone can put in tomato passata or not, according to your taste - I've had spectacular minestrone without. I make my minestrone in a heavy pot, I make a 'soffritto' - basic vegetables like onion, celery and carrrot - sweated in Evoo, and thereafter add the other vegetables, that should all be cut more or less to the same size, or to a size that they should all be cooked at the same time.

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Old 12-29-2017, 08:03 AM   #5
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You could use a can of crushed tomatoes and then add water or stock until you get the consistency you desire...
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Yup, vegi stock is watery enough to count as water.

I don't see any passata in that recipe, just tomato puree, which is British for what North Americans call tomato paste.
Pasata is widely available over here in the UK (Sainsbury's, ASDA, Aldi, Tesco, Morrissons, the CO-OP, etc., etc.,) but puree is good if you are adding it to veg stock. If you want to use passata instead of veg stock but you haven't got any, you can substitute good quality tinned tomatoes. Just strain them, saving the juice, and push the pieces of tomato through the seive leaving just the seeds behind. A pain in the neck and passata is easier.

If you are using stock cube or the jelly stockpots, be careful with the salt you add because some of them have a lot of salt in them.
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:07 AM   #7
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If minestrone is a tomato flavoured vegi soup why not use a can of crushed tomatoes instead of paste? The tomato more or less disintegrates into the broth if you want it brothy anyway?
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:29 AM   #8
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Hi everyone,

I tried again with vegetable stock and tomato passata. This one has carrots, broccoli, potato, rice, penne and pepper. It's brilliant! I can make minestrone now! Thanks for your help!

Richard
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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I hope you wrote down what you did so you can have that brilliant soup again.
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by di reston View Post
My minestrone is composed of basic vegetables - onion, carrots, celery, then I add as many vegetables as I can put in the pot. Vegetable stock not necessary, just water. In some parts of Italy they do use off cuts of cockerel, legs, neck, head, but the main parts are generally used for main meals - after all, we're talking mains with that. Over here, there are lots of different ways of doing minestrone. Your minestrone can put in tomato passata or not, according to your taste - I've had spectacular minestrone without. I make my minestrone in a heavy pot, I make a 'soffritto' - basic vegetables like onion, celery and carrrot - sweated in Evoo, and thereafter add the other vegetables, that should all be cut more or less to the same size, or to a size that they should all be cooked at the same time.

Happy New Year

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Thanks for that post. I was my impression that the right way to make minestrone depends on who's mother taught you to make it. It seems that a lot of Italian cooking is that way.

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Old 01-01-2018, 05:45 AM   #11
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When I make my vegetable soup ( which is basically a modified Minestrone soup)
I usually use a 1:1 Tomato to Veggie broth ratio. I literally take a 28oz can of tomatoes ( whole(with tomatoes broken up a bit ) or diced, and then i just fill the can up with veggie broth.

If I want a thinner soup, Ill use a little more water. If I want a thicker soup, Ill often blend up some of the beans (1/4 to 1/2 cup) with some broth and then dump that in. ( my daughter and wife prefer it thicker, I like it a little more soupy).

As for the veggies, I usually fry up a diced onion, diced carrot and diced celery with olive oil, usually with a little salt to sweat it a bit ( I dont want it to brown). If Im using fresh string beans, i cut them up and sauté them with the other veggies, if Im using frozen, I toss them in when I throw the liquid in ( tomatoes, and broth).

After a few minutes, in goes the tomatoes and broth, can of drained and rinsed beans ( I prefer dark kidney. I like their taste, consistency and they hold up well in the soup by not turning to mush). I've also used garbanzo, or the white cannallini instead. At this time I like to put in some chopped okra. I like the taste and the way it thickens it up a bit too.

Let it simmer for a bit. Ill adjust the salt and pepper to my liking.

When the soup is about 15 or 20 minutes from being done, Ill toss in the diced potatoes. I dont like adding them too soon or the break up too much ( depending on the potato i have on hand). Sometimes ill actually precook the diced potatoes and just add them in last minute.

When the soup is 3 -5 minutes from being done, Ill add sliced zucchini. Honestly, this is my favorite vegetable in the soup. I slice them about 1/8 inch thick, throw them in and cover the pot. When the center of the zucchini ( where the seeds are , or should be) starts to get more transparent , then i know the soup is done. Almost kinda like al-dente. soft, but with a little bite to it.

If I want to make it more ' Minestrone -like', as they serve it in my local restaurant, Ill add a little cabbage ( not too much, or it dominates the flavor) and some noodles ( I prefer the small shells). Most the time I precook the pasta, and toss it in to individual bowls when serving, so i done wind up with a pot of HUGE shells ( especially if there is leftover the next day). It amazes me how much liquid those little boogers can absorb.

During the garden season, I may throw other things in it like spinach, chard, other beans that are ripe at the time, leeks.

Sometimes I may also add the rind of a parmesan cheese in it while cooking. To me, this totally takes it to the next level.

And as mentioned earlier, if i want it thicker , Ill save about 1/4 can of the beans, blend it up with some of the soup liquid , then pour it in towards the end. I dont like to make it too thick in the beginning, to avoid the risk of possible sticking to the bottom of the pan.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:50 PM   #12
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I'm always struck by how much pasta is used Over There! We never use it if not in the batch we're serving. Then it goes last. I junk any leftovers with pasta. Many people here use bread instead, but a good minestrone should never be served with pasta at the end, rather with pasta in the soup bowl. That way you can keep the rest edible for another time.

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Old 01-01-2018, 03:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by di reston View Post
I'm always struck by how much pasta is used Over There! We never use it if not in the batch we're serving. Then it goes last. I junk any leftovers with pasta. Many people here use bread instead, but a good minestrone should never be served with pasta at the end, rather with pasta in the soup bowl. That way you can keep the rest edible for another time.

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So, you make your minestrone and pasta separately, and combine them when you serve the soup. That makes sense, as it is how you would serve pasta with a sauce.

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Old 01-01-2018, 04:09 PM   #14
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I sure do! Because there when I want it with pasta and sometimes without. Also, I don't like the texture of overcooked pasta - to me it's slimly and horrible. I can't eat it second time around.

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Old 01-01-2018, 04:21 PM   #15
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This is the way we hold soup with pasta in the deli..(other than the small thin noodles you find in chicken noodle snoop). We add the noodles to the bowl first then pour the hot soup over them. Otherwise, they sit and absorb the broth and eventually fall apart..
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:31 AM   #16
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I suspect that, in practice, there is no "correct" recipe for minestrone. Regardless of what the cookery book says, it's likely that every Italian Mama has her own secret recipe that she swears is the one and only true one.

Like many other national specialities, from anywhere in the world, it was originally poverty food and whatever was available was chucked in the pot.
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