Vegetables of all types, cabbage of any variety, beets, lettuce, celery, spinach, parsley and fennel. The original recipe for Minestrone alla Milanese cannot easily be found. In the past, when vegetables were rigorously seasonal, the ingredients varied depending on the seasons. Therefore, hot minestrone made in winter was prepared with different ingredients from those used for the cold or lukewarm soup in summer.
The origins of this inexpensive dish do not reach far back in time, but have roots in the farming-food tradition of Milano in the early 1800s.
In 1858, the New Dictionary of Synonyms of the Italian Language was published and the word minestrone was not cited. But the dish soon imposed itself on the cuisine of the whole peninsula, and then of the world in 1891 as a bulwark of Italian cuisine, when Pellegrino Artusi, literary critic, historian and Italian gastronomy expert, inserted minestrone in his cooking manual Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. Artusi claims to have come across minestrone for the first time in Livorno in 1855.
Even Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Luigi Colombo in The Futuristic Cuisine, published in Milano in 1935, described “five pyramids, 40 centimetres high, of cold minestrone”.