marisa mariella

easy mouthwatering recipes that unite your family and friends

Minestrone di zucchine e patate (Zucchini and Potato Soup)

Marisa Mariella
I remember my mom would use the zucchini that grew just a little too big in the garden to make this soup! With a basket full of freshly picked garden vegetables and herbs, she would whip up this soup in no time. For me, this is an all-season soup with slight variations to reflect the vegetables and herbs that are available either in my garden or grocery store. Consider adding a 4-inch piece of Parmigiano Reggiano rind to the simmering soup. Although this step was never practiced by my mom, I certainly do. The rind offers a subtle but noticeable richness to the soup as it softens during the cooking. In the end, the remaining rind makes for a tasty surprise.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 hot pepper finely chopped
  • 5 small zucchini cubed
  • 3 large potatoes cubed
  • 2-3 tomatoes skinned, deseeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups cooked navy beans
  • 2½ - 3 litres cold water
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 4-inch Parmigiano Reggiano Rind, cleaned (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Add oil to large soup pot and set it on medium heat. Add the shallots and stir. Once the shallots become translucent, add the garlic and stir. Do not burn the garlic.
  • Add the remaining vegetables and parsley, except the beans. Stir until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the rind if using.
  • Add water and salt lightly. Stir and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and place lid slightly ajar. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In the last 10 minutes, add the beans. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until soup is thickened.
  • Taste for seasonings. You may need to add more salt and black pepper to taste.
  • If you prefer, remove about half of the vegetables and beans and place in a large bowl. Lightly mash with a fork and then return to the pot. Serve in a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add a generous amount of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve hot in the winter and lightly heated in the summer. The soup will taste even better the second day!

Notes

This soup is really the basis for most of my soups. The variations are endless and are only limited by your imagination. Consider adding chopped pancetta or prosciutto with the sizzling shallots. Try adding vegetables like green beans or finely chopped cabbage. Experiment with leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, or escarole, making sure to blanch the last two. Omit the garlic and/or onion to allow for the other flavours to shine solo! Substitute one dried bean variety for another. I really don't think that you can go wrong. Experiment and find your favourite combinations. 
Keyword beans, minestrone, potatoes, soup, tomatoes, basil, canning, zucchini