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1 onion
2 celery sticks
1 large carrot
45ml/3 tbsp olive oil
150g/5oz French (green) beans, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
1 courgette (zucchini), thinly sliced
1 potato, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
¼ Savoy cabbage, shredded
1 small aubergine (eggplant), cut into 1cm/½in cubes
200g/7oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups stock
90g/3½oz dried vermicelli
Salt and ground black pepper

For the pesto

About 20 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
10ml/2 tsp pine nuts
15ml/1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
15ml/1 tbsp grated Pecorino cheese
30ml/2 tbsp olive oil


Serves: 6


1. Chop the onion, celery and carrot finely, either in a food processor or by hand. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the chopped mixture and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes.

2. Mix in the French beans, courgette, potato and cabbage. Stir-fry over a medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the aubergine, cannellini beans and tomatoes, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes more. Pour in the stock with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil. Stir well, cover and lower the heat. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, process all the pesto ingredients in a food processor until the mixture forms a smooth sauce, adding 15-45ml/1-3 tbsp water through the feeder tube if necessary.

4. Break the pasta into small pieces and add it to the soup. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the pesto sauce and stir it in well, then simmer for 2-3 minutes more, or until the pasta is al dente. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot, in warmed soup plates or bowls.

Energy 387Kcal/1618kj; Protein 13.1g; Carbohydrate 40g, of which sugars 9.6g; Fat 20.6g, of which saturates 4g; Cholesterol 8mg; Calcium 173mg; Fibre 7.7g; Sodium 527mg

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