When your down with a cold or sick with the flu, there is no better way to lift your spirits and make you feel better than a big bowl of minestrone, the classic Italian soup filled with good revitalizing vegetables. In this recipe, minestrone is cooked with red mullet fillets and fresh pasta noodles for a complete and satisfying meal that will bring warmth to your home during cold rainy days.
While essentially rustic, this gourmet version for the traditionally peasant soup makes use of saffron to give the soup an exquisite flavor. It also makes use of Pistou sauce—made from garlic, basil, and olive oil—to give the dish a Provencal character.
Originally, the ingredients used in minestrone are whatever vegetables are in season, thrown together in a pot, together with a combination of leftovers. The dish is meant to be easy, nutritious, convenient, inexpensive, and filling. Today, there are thousands of versions of the well-loved soup and there is no strict standard or recipe in making it. There are, however, delicious minestrone and awful minestrone, usually the ones served in school cafeterias and those that come in cans.
From the Italian root word minestra, which means chunky soup or big soup, the essence of delicious minestrone is the variety of flavorful ingredients that meld together in one hot bowl. Different colors, textures, and aromas fill the senses, providing an invigorating experience.
Healthy and low in fat, this recipe for minestrone is recommended for those who are watching their weight or are on a diet. It provides a considerable amount of nutrients while only containing few calories.
The delicately flavored red mullet is best enjoyed during the summer. Combined with fresh pasta and a heap of vegetables, the natural sweetness of the fish is enhanced. Spiced with saffron and pistou sauce, this minestrone dish is something else.