Minestrone 1

I’ve marked it as number 1, because I know that there will be variants and I might post some more minestrone recipes. I’ve previously done a summer vegetable version as well. 

This is a more solid affair, this soup. As usual, after making the broth, you add the vegetables in the order in which they will cook, saving those with the shortest cooking time until the end. You can vary the vegetables in season, to include chopped beetroot, celeriac, fennel, peas, leeks, kohl rabi, or substitute rice or barley for the pasta. 


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 rashers of bacon or 100g pancetta, or more if you wish
  • 2 tsp marjoram or mixed herbs
  • a can of chopped tomatoes
  • 150ml red wine
  • 1 can of haricot beans, drained. 
  • 1.7 litres of boiling water or stock
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 small potatoes, such as charlottes, peeled and diced
  • About the same volume of turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • half a small cabbage, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 50g small pasta
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Heat the olive oil in a very large soup pan, and cook the onions very slowly for 5 minutes so that they soften. Add in the chopped garlic and cook for another couple of minutes before adding the bacon and herbs. You can actually use just about any herb; thyme, basil, marjoram all work well. 
  • Once the bacon is cooked and the mixture is hot through, add the chopped tomatoes, red wine and haricot beans. Bring this to a simmer and then add the boiling water or stock. Bring to a simmer and cook very very slowly for the flavour to develop, and for the beans to be hot and cooked through. 
  • You can pause at this stage, and then finish the soup off when you are ready, about 45 minutes before serving, to ensure that all of the vegetables are perfect. 
  • Add the carrots, simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and turnip, simmer for 15 minutes
  • Add the celery, cabbage and pasta, season with salt and pepper, simmer for 10 minutes
  • Stir in 2 tbsp grated parmesan, and serve with more parmesan.