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Feb 24, 2008 11:42 PM

Authentic Minestrone?

Hey guys I just finished cooking Minestrone from Larousse "Gastronomique" Vegetables and am looking for criticism on it.

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  1. Not a criticism, but my new favorite ingredient in this soup is Barilla mini penne, along with the beans it really makes it into a meal!

    1. I eat minestrone everyday for breakfast as part of a weight reduction regimen. I don't use a cookbook or any particular recipe because I belong to the "What if?" school of cooking specializing in "Cuisine impromptu." I don't know from Larousse. My minestrone, which I make at least 5 quarts at a time, contains 2 kinds of rehydrated dried beans, lentils, split peas, a 12-oz. can of tomato paste, barley (sometimes pasta), onions, celery, minced garlic, several kinds of extremely pungent chiles (peperoncini in Italian), the liquor from the cooked beans, a small head of cabbage (chopped up, of course) and some red wine. This stuff is more like 'un stufato di fagioli' (bean stew) than soup because it is very thick.

      Why for colazione (breakfast)? Because the beans and barley are resistant starches that take a long time to metabolize and do not spike my blood glucose, and do reduce my cholesterol.

      I do not own a copy of Larousse in my collection of about 500 cooking documents because I do not do French. Ergo, I cannot critique your minestrone. My cooking methods are rustic, and I cannot do anally precise culinary techniques as demanded by the French. I have a personal motto, "Cook like a peasant, dine like a gourmet."

      Buon appetito (not bon appetit)

      1. Two minor ideas - use smoked salt instead of sage in your beans, and wait to slightly brown the sage along with the garlic.