Minestrone verde is a broth soup made from fresh seasonal spring vegetables with cannellini beans and pasta for that added comfort feeling.
What is Minestrone Verde?
This minestrone verde is the same as a traditional classic Italian minestrone. However, the main ingredients are only green or light coloured ones, therefore this minestrone will look all shades of green. For this brothy minestrone soup I have used my favourite vegetables that are in season during spring. Such as peas, snap peas and spinach. You can also substitute or add vegetables like kale, asparagus, edamame, green beans, courgettes, etc. The beauty of this minestrone is that even though it’s a warm comfort food it’s still a light and fresh dish. Therefore, it’s the perfect dish to enjoy when the days might still be a bit gloomy and spring is only just starting.
How to make the minestrone?
Making the minestrone is relatively easy. Before starting to cook it, I like to have all of my ingredients ready and prepped. Prepare all the vegetables by cleaning and cutting them according to your liking. I like to half the snap peas so that they aren’t that large in the spoon. I also like to use small spinach leaves, so that they don’t over power the soup.
Start by sautéing lightly the onion, leek and celery. These need to cook for a few minutes until they are soft and fragrant. Add the vegetable broth, or any broth you like, and let it come to a boil. Bring down the temperature and add the pasta, cannellini beans, peas, snap peas and spinach. Simmer everything until the pasta is cooked al dente. Season the minestrone with salt and pepper to taste.
How to garnish?
Once you plate the minestrone, you can leave it as is. However, I like to go all out and have fun with the garnishes, while still keeping them to a minimum. My favourite thing to do is to generously shave several pieces of parmesan cheese over the minestrone. These will add some depth and umami to the flavours of the minestrone. Lastly, when I have more time, some dollops of pistachio pesto will give the minestrone a nutty and fresh aroma. You can either use store bought or else make it yourself.
How to make the Pistachio Pesto?
Knowing how to make a classic pistachio pesto is a helping hand in the kitchen. This pistachio pesto used in this minestrone is a bit richer and has a touch of freshness. In a blender I like to blitz the pistachios alone until they start to break into smaller pieces. Once they are almost completely chopped, add the basil and olive oil and blend until you reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Store the pistachio pesto in an airtight container in the fridge.
How to store the minestrone verde?
I store the minestrone verde as I do with soups. Once it’s cooled, I transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for not more than 3 days.
Can I blend it as a soup?
Yes, you can completely turn this minestrone verde into a velvety smooth soup by blending everything together. Of course, if you want to do so, I would recommend that you omit adding the pasta before blending. You can also blend some of the minestrone, add it to the chunkier minestrone for a denser minestrone verde.
For the Minestrone Verde
- 45 ml olive oil
- 1 medium sized brown onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 leeks
- 250 g cannellini beans
- 200 g peas
- 200 g snap peas
- 100 g spinach
- 1.5 L vegetable broth
- 100 g ditalini pasta
- Salt and pepper
- parmesan cheese shavings (for garnish)
For the Pistachio Pesto (Optional)
- 40 g pistachios
- 15 ml olive oil
- A couple of basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pistachio Pesto (Optional – used to garnish the minestrone)
- Start by placing the pistachios in a blender or in the mortar. Crush the pistachios finely until all the pistachios are broken evenly.
- Add the olive oil and blend them together. If you want a chunkier pesto, as you can see in this recipe, the oil should be enough. However, if you want a smoother pesto, add more oil and blend them together for a longer period until you get a smooth and velvety texture.
- Once you almost achieve your desired consistency, season the pesto to taste with salt and pepper and blend for one last time.
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, celery and leeks. Season with salt. Cook for about ten minutes.
- Fill the pot with the vegetable broth and bring to slight boil.
- Bring down the temperature, add the pasta, cannellini beans, peas, snap peas and spinach. Simmer everything until the pasta is cooked al dente. Season the minestrone with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the minestrone in a bowl, with dollops of pistachio pesto and shavings of parmesan cheese.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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