Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Minestrone Miss & Mess!

Do you all remember my extremely disappointing, inadequate third rate food experience at Coral Rock Hotel in Jambiani a few weeks back? Well during my food review here, one of the things that I had promised then was a post on the humble minestrone soup. Someone just reminded me that I had yet to write about that, so here goes.....

The word 'Minestrone' means 'big soup' to Italians ... this translates to a large hearty portion of delicious soup with lots of goodies in it such as beans, fresh vegetables and naturally.... pasta! Unluckily the minestrone that we sent back uneaten at Coral Rock Hotel appeared to be on a low fat, low nutrition, low taste & low self-esteem diet and consisted of a bowl of bland boiled spaghetti sadly floating about in a tablespoon of water with some bits of boiled carrots and peppers, with the trademark 'no seasoning!'. The so called 'soup' masquerading as a minestrone must have put the entire rich history of Italian food to shame!

We can trace back the origin of the word 'minestrone' in the Latin word 'minus' (minor or less) which referred to servants as they were considered  inferior from the masters of the house. Therefore, one can see that the word 'minestrone' originates from the word 'minestrare' ie. 'that which is served'.

For more information on this, please visit the link below:

Luckily this rich and hearty soup (a real minestrone, not the fake Coral Rock Hotel version!) is not that hard to make as it does not have a fixed recipe and you can use a range of different vegetables (and even meats) and herbs that you may have lying around the house needing to be used up. The various soup versions span the entire range from thick and dense with a heavy vegetable base to a more broth like mix of lightly cooked vegetables that may include meats.

Whichever version you decide to make, remember to pay homage to the long and lush history of this humble soup! Enjoy :)

Here are a few different versions for you to try... Please come back and share your favorite!

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