In America, "minestrone" is just a fancy name for vegetable soup. We buy it in cans. We order it as the soup of the day in coffee shops—chicken rice Thursday, clam chowder Friday, minestrone Saturday. In America, it's not a dish, it's a cliche. In Italy, on the other hand, it's both a dish and a highly appreciated one—so much so that the Genoese sometimes call a particularly abundant version "Signore Minestrone", as an expression of respect.