About this recipe: This famous Italian soup has been much imitated around the world with very different results. The homemade version is a delicious revelation and is also extremely healthy, as it has pasta, beans and fresh vegetables. Try to make the minestrone a day early and refrigerate as this improves the flavours. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
I was expecting this to be a lot better, judging by all the positive reviews. It was rather bland. I followed the recipe to the letter (as I always try to do before rating a recipe), and came up with a soup that was just fair. I think it needed more tomatoes for body and taste, and I'll agree with one reviewer who thought the thyme was a little much. I had to add lots of salt before I could eat it and enjoy it. I noticed after reading over the reviews that more often than not if a review got 5 stars, the reviewer had added something to the recipe (e.g., potatoes, garlic, in one instance a ham bone!). I think this is one of those recipes that's good to have as a base to work from, then alter to personal tastes. I'll use this recipe again, but not without some tweaking. * After the minestrone sat overnight, the flavor improved dramatically. Still not the five-star recipe I'd like, but the improvement was enough that I will bump it up to four stars. - 11 Mar 2003 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
I made this soup for a family gathering. I scaled it to serve 20 people and it turned out very well. I'm a strict vegetarian so I had to make something good to impress the meat-eaters of the group. . . all of them asked for the recipe. I tried to take a lot of advice from the user reviews before cooking and made some changes: 1. The scaled recipe called for 5 leaks. I subsituted one leak for an onion. So if using the current scale, probably half and onion and one and a half leak would suffice. 2. I sauteed one clove of garlic in the olive oil before adding any vegetables. Again, with scaling, you might not need that much. 3. I couldn't find any cannellini beans so I used kidney beans. My italain stepmom laughed at me, but it turned out good, so she stopped laughing after she tasted it. 4. I did let it sit in the fridge overnight before serving. It really added a LOT of flavor. 5. I think the stock you choose is probably the most important part of this recipe. I was fortunate enough to have really good vegetable stock. Can't remember the brand or I would share it, sorry. 6. I didn't put as much thyme in as called for. I served it with another recipe from allrecipe's: Great Garlic Bread, submitted by Noelle. Good stuff. - 02 Dec 2005 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This is a great recipe. Like others I added a bit more... spinach, carrots, zucchini, and italian seasoning instead of the thyme. I also added just a few tablespoons of tomato puree and canned tomatoes instead of fresh. Also threw in a bay leaf of two and a part of a parmesan rind to richen the flavor. Also, very important to add the beans. I made it in two batches, and only put the beans in one as hubby is not a fan. The bean juice added a great dimension to the broth. Next time will definatly add it to all and just let him pick out the beans! - 15 Jan 2007 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)