Minestrone belongs to the “cucina povera” or “poor kitchen” style of cooking. These dishes have rustic, rural roots as opposed to the more refined “cucina nobile” cooking style of the aristocracy and nobility.
The ultimate cooking-with-the-seasons dish, there’s no set recipe for minestrone soups – indeed the word minestrone has come to mean ‘that which is served’.
Traditionally, Italian cooks make use of the best of the seasons’ vegetables, adding beans, rice or pasta. This ‘Mama’s Meatball Minestrone’ makes the best of beef bone broth and grass fed beef mince; I’ve taken inspiration from Blue Apron and paired it with green beans and broccoli. But feel free to add in any veg you fancy!
If you’re strictly Paleo, the Parmesan is optional … but authentically del.ic.iou
Mama's Paleo Italian Meatball Minestrone
Rustic, flavoursome and filling, this minestrone is utterly satisfying as a main dish. Strict Paleoists may want to pass on the Parmesan!
Over a medium heat, melt the fat in a wide lidded, pan and add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots. Saute until the vegetables are softened but still have some bite.
While the vegetables are cooking, place the meat in a bowl and add the egg yolk, herb mix and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands until completely combined.
To test the seasoning, take a thumbnail size of meat mixture and fry in a little oil. Adjust to taste and roll the mixture into small balls (about 1 inch). Lightly brown the meat balls in a little coconut oil/ or beef dripping.
Add the broth, roughly chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and molasses to the vegetables in the pan and stir until well mixed. Gently add the meat balls into the pot, cover let the meatballs simmer very gently on a medium to low heat for 30 minutes or until the meat is fork-tender.
Remove the lid and add the green beans and broccoli and cook gently until the vegetables are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.
Image credit and recipe inspiration by: Blue Apron