On chilly days, Italian tables cannot be without minestrone, a vegetable soup prepared from pulses and seasonal vegetables.
Its Sardinian version is even considered by some as the key to longevity.
In fact, the Sardinian Melis family, which entered the Guinness Book of Records of the longest-living families, used to eat Sardinian minestrone daily, not only in winter. From an early age, the Melis find it on their table.
Sardinian minestrone, prepared by slow cooking, is a healthy and balanced meal providing us with all we need.
First, it provides proteins from the pulses and cereals, fibers and vitamins from the vegetables, and carbohydrates from the fregula, a tiny durum wheat semolina pasta added at the end of cooking.
Then, it provides us with anti-oxidants. For example, tomato puree is rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.
Finally, it combines legumes and cereals, which is vital to ensure the supply of all the essential amino acids our body needs. If you don’t have Fregula, add another cereal-based of your choice, such as some whole grain bread, to ensure the dietary balance.
As an Italian, I was familiar with minestrone; my mum always prepared it for me as a child. Sometimes, she prepared it by adding rice at the end of the cooking. Or else she would serve it with just vegetables, left whole or mixed, as dad preferred it. So I wanted to prepare Sardinian minestrone, but I was missing some ingredients, such as fregula, a source of carbohydrates.
The original recipe also calls for bacon, which I do not use. The result, for me, was still excellent 🙂
- Dried fava beans 50g
- Dried chickpeas 50g
- Dried beans 50g
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 onion
- Seasonal vegetables, e.g.: 2 carrots, 2 courgettes, 2 potatoes, celery (stalk), half a cauliflower
- Tomato puree
- Fresh herbs like basil and parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
How to make it
- The night before, soak the fava beans, chickpeas, and beans together.
- The next day, rinse them.
- Put some olive oil in a pot with chopped garlic, celery, and sliced carrot.
- Add the chopped vegetables, and let them cook for 5 minutes. Then add the pulses with the tomato puree and water to cover everything.
- Lower the heat, so the vegetables and pulses cook slowly, for about an hour and a half. In the end, add the fregula and cook it in the soup as indicated on the package.
- Add some fresh herbs, like basil leaves and parsley chopped by hand, leaving a few ones for decoration.
- Add a drizzle of oil, salt, and pepper.
- Serve it with carasau bread, an unleavened Sardinian bread (or some slices of organic bread).
It was so good that we finished all at once! Can’t wait to taste it with fregula, have you? Tell me in Instagram @daybydayplants_blog .