Giada De Laurentiis' Broth Advice For Customizing Minestrone

Homemade minestrone soup is one of our favorites because you can literally use whatever seasonal vegetables you have in your refrigerator to make it. While some of the usual suspects might include beans, tomatoes, carrots, celery, carrots, and onions, there are no rules as to what veggies you have to use. You can even add some protein to this soup if you are looking for a heartier dish. Minestrone is a soup where almost anything goes and according to Giada De Laurentiis, the broth is going to set the tone for how you customize it.

Broth is a liquid that is comprised of water in which meat, fish, or vegetables have been simmered. It is a base for any good minestrone soup and it differs from stock in that it is thinner in consistency and less intense in flavor. When De Laurentiis makes her version of minestrone, she tends to favor chicken broth if she is using potatoes and beef broth if she adds pancetta. Either is perfectly acceptable when making this soup but why the two different broths? There is definitely a method to her madness.

Choose complimentary broths

As De Laurentiis prepared her spin on this classic Italian meal, the chef with Italian roots revealed in an episode of Giadzy that her choice of broth for her minestrone soup is all about balancing flavors. Potatoes are starchy and can be bland in flavor, but when these tubers soak up the chicken broth, those very same characteristics allow that savory liquid to work its tasty magic. However, if she is adding rich meat like pancetta, De Laurentiis likes to compliment that deep flavor with a beef broth. 

The beef broth has a much more robust flavor that works well with the fatty and salty taste of this pork belly meat. Pancetta is quite similar to bacon and requires a beef broth to match the sumptuousness of its texture. Of course, if you aren't a fan of beef or chicken broth, the celebrity cook says you can use vegetable broth as long as you aren't adding any pancetta to your soup. Vegetable broth is going to be a little lighter in flavor compared to chicken and beef, but it pairs perfectly with a vegetarian version of minestrone soup and is a good base when adding rice and pasta.