Minestone Soup

For me Autumn is the start of the soup season and from now until Spring I will be getting the ladle out every lunch time to enjoy this ‘souper’ way to eat vegetables. A favourite of mine is Minestrone, which is a perfect way to use any leftover fresh pasta – see my last blog. The addition of pancetta is optional, personally I prefer just vegetables, all neatly cut to fit as many as possible on my spoon. Serve with a generous amount of Parmesan for that authentic Italian touch and if you are feeling extra hungry serve some bread too. To complete my Mediterranean, theme I have served mine with homemade pesto & green olive sourdough rolls……..Buon appetito!


2 large carrots, peeled

1 large onion

3 celery sticks, washed

1 large waxy potato, peeled

15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

100g pancetta (optional)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 courgette

30ml (2 tbsp) tomato puree

1.5 litres vegetable or chicken stock

500g carton of passata

Salt & black pepper

400g tinned cannellini or flageolet beans, drained

100g small pasta shapes or broken spaghetti (50g fresh pasta pieces)

75g kale finely shredded

To serve: freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Dice the carrots, onion, celery and potato into small cubes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, (lightly fry the pancetta if using) and add the carrots, onion, celery, potato and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until softened. Stir in the courgette and cook for a further minute.
  3. Stir in the tomato puree, passata and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes
  4. Add the beans and pasta (if dried) and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes, adding the kale (& fresh pasta if using) for the final 2 minutes.
  5. Check for seasoning and serve in bowls with optional Parmesan grated on top.


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