Legumes 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 because in the past, when vegetables where rigorously seasonal, the ingredients varied depending on the seasons. Therefore, hot minestrone made in winter was prepared with ingredients different from those used for the cold or tepid soup in summer.
The origins of the inexpensive dish do not reach that 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 produced and the word “minestrone” was not cited, most likely because the dictionary was not in current use outside of the Milanese city. But the dish soon imposed itself on the cuisine of the whole peninsula, and then the world in 1891 as a bulwark of the Italian cuisine, when Pellegrino Artusi, literary, history and Italian gastronomy critic, 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, artistic name Fillia, in “The Futuristic Kitchen” that was published in Milano in 1935, described lunch citing the “five pyramids, 40 centimetres high, of cold minestrone”.