Recipe by Sarah Smith: My Nonna, Giannina Pegolo, comes from Northern Italy, in a town called Codroipo in Udine. While I eat this minestrone as a main dish now, Nonna always serves it as an appetizer before the pasta, which is before the main dish, which is accompanied by bread, cheese, and all the veggies – because as she always says, “Eat and grow tall!” I believe Nonna created the recipe herself, but the soup has evolved over the years. She has never actually written the recipe down. This recipe is a result of my Aunt trying to write everything down as she makes it!
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
Few leaves romaine, chopped
Italian parsley, roughly chopped
10-15 green beans, chopped
6 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
Pepper to taste
4-5 beef bouillon cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
Fill a large pot with water. Add all of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 1 hour.
Using a masher (or whatever you have handy), mash the potatoes, then simmer for another hour. Adjust seasonings as desired.
If desired, use spoon to skim oil off of surface, then serve! The best thing about this recipe is that a) it’s fool-proof (despite my heritage, I am an awful cook), and b) you can add to or lessen the amount of each ingredient, based on your liking. I usually add 3 stalks celery though my Aunt adds 1, and I usually add 15-20 green beans, though my Aunt adds 10, etc.
*Please note: Feature photo courtesy of http://www.taste.au