Saturday, 13 November 2010

eat your minestrone Joe...

...that's all you ever say!

ahh... a steaming bowl of Minestrone... could there be anything more comforting on an autumn afternoon?...

... or anything more difficult to pin down an actual authentic recipe?... there seem to be so many, from the traditional to the contemporary... from 'my mothers' to 'my great grand-fathers... only Italian men can really make a minestrone'... oh and then some start with bacon (which The Big V wouldn't appreciate) and some use cannelloni beans... some use pasta, some rice... they all do have a few things is common, such as they all start with the classic Italian triumvirate of onion, celery and carrot, resembling the Italian flag... and mine is really just a variation of the classic, with a few of my own little twists...

oh and really simple to make... much needed after the event we just got back from in Birmingham this week... lets just say that I'm screaming inside... and leave it at that...

My Minestrone

one medium onion - finely chopped
2 sticks celery - finely chopped
1 carrot - finely chopped
1 medium leek - chopped
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 pints of good veg stock
a handful of fine green beans - chopped into thirds
a large handful of chopped cabbage
2 garlic cloves - crushed
a mixture of fresh herbs
a glass of pink champagne
a handful of teeny pasta (I found these adorable baby egg conchigliette that fit the bill perfectly)
grated cheese

- first rule of any minestrone... make this in the morning... or even the night before... there's something magical in the fact that it needs to go cold and then heat up again before it tastes divine!

- in melted butter and olive oil, saute the onions in a heavy pan or casserole dish until translucent, then add the carrots and celery and then the leek, place the lid on and let them sweat for 5 mins.

- take the lid off, season, add the garlic and herbs and let them saute some more.

- turn up the heat and add a glass of white wine (we had some left over pink champagne... like you do!)

- once the liquid has reduced add the tin of tomatoes and the stock

- add the cabbage and green beans and a couple of bay leaves, place the lid on and let it simmer for 30 mins

- turn the heat off, add the pasta and let it cool.

- heat to serve and sprinkle with a strong grated cheddar (for the true vegetarian) or the classic parmesan.

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Looks lovely! I got leek and green beans in my veg box this week, so I will make this I think! Mmm, minestrone...

  2. Loving the pink champagne. A glass for the soup and the rest of the bottle for cook?!?!?! Thats my kind of recipe lol

  3. I like your stew version, too. Looks very homey and delicious!

  4. Oh Dom! I have just seen a friend who has recently been hospitalized. When I asked her if she needed anything, she asked, "Do you make soup, Susan?" I said,"Why of course, Betty!" This minestrone will be bouncing it's way off the hill and over to her house when she gets out of hospital! Thanks!

  5. hi Dom....looks so great...yum.

    my mom was italian and made us the best minestrone...but it always had to have cranberry beans or she wouldn't make it...and of coarse, some parmesan cheese rinds...the BEST...

    thanks for sharing this..

    Happy to see you at Farmhouse..and i am Happy to follow....

    teddy says HI

    kary and teddy

  6. oh, thanks all for the kind words... the soup actually did come out quite stew-like, I could have added another pint of stock I think..

    @ Chele - we had the champagne left over from a previous meal... but yes, there's always room for a glass down the neck

    @ The Spice Garden - soup is the truth

    @ My Farmhouse Kitchen - welcome... I love your blog too and I adore Teddy... my dear Holly has just gone upstairs to lay down on our bed no doubt... little minx... and I would normally use a parmesan rind but The Big V is a Big V so I can't... which is why I like to make soup in advance and let it mature with flavour!

  7. I want some. Right now! Gorgeous photos and great story - hope you have recovered from Birmingham. If it's any consolation it's been at terrible week at our's too! I think I'm going to go and make your soup to cheer myself up...


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