Prep time:

Cooking time: 2 hours

Total time:

Serves: 6

1 Large Onion, sliced

2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped

3 Medium Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Leek, chopped

2 Celery Sticks, chopped

¼ White Cabbage, chopped

4tbsp Tomato Puree

800g 2 Cans of Chopped Tomatoes

225g Chorizo, chopped into small chunks

2ltr Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

½tsp Granulated Sugar

Handful of fine pasta (vermicelli), slightly crushed in the hand

220g Can of Red Kidney Beans, drained

Good Quality Olive Oil

Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Handful of Fresh Basil

Salt and Freshly Milled Black Pepper

For the Lemon Ciabatta:

2 Loaves of Ciabatta Bread, cut into sections

2 Lemons

Good Quality Olive Oil

Minestrone means ‘big soup’ in Italian. It’s made with vegetables and often contains pasta, beans or rice. There is no set recipe for minestrone and this recipe is a family favourite that has been cooked in our kitchen for more than 20 years. Each time it’s made it seems to turn out differently. Try varying the vegetables according to what’s in season and either add or reduce the stock according to how thick you like your soup.

  1. Heat a saucepan with a splash of olive oil (approx 2tbls). Add the chorizo and cook until the edges are browned and crispy. Add the onions, leek, celery and carrots and sweat very slowly on a low heat with the lid on for around 15 to 20 minutes until soft, but not brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 mins.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and cabbage and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the vegetables don’t stick.
  3. Add the stock and tomato puree. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for approx 1 hour.
  4. Liquidise the soup lightly leaving some of the vegetables so they are slightly chunky. Return to the saucepan.
  5. Add the kidney beans and pasta and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
  6. Add fresh basil, lemon juice and sugar, cook for a further 2 or 3 minutes. Season to taste.
  7. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve with Lemon Ciabatta.

For Lemon Ciabatta:

  1. Cut ciabatta in half and toast the inside. Drizzle with olive oil followed by a squeeze of lemon. Alternatively buy some olive oil infused with lemon and drizzle over toasted ciabatta. Season with sea salt and freshly milled black pepper.

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether

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