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More Nigella recipes

Minestrone

by . Featured in HOW TO EAT
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Introduction

This glorious vegetable and bean soup can be adapted to use any vegetables you have lying around, more or less - but I prefer not to include tomatoes here. The only drawback is that the soup, after all the cooking, turns out an undeniable khaki. But it tastes so good, with an almost honeyed savouriness, that it really doesn’t matter. Should you want to make this vegan, simply use more oil in place of the butter, and omit the parmesan.

This glorious vegetable and bean soup can be adapted to use any vegetables you have lying around, more or less - but I prefer not to include tomatoes here. The only drawback is that the soup, after all the cooking, turns out an undeniable khaki. But it tastes so good, with an almost honeyed savouriness, that it really doesn’t matter. Should you want to make this vegan, simply use more oil in place of the butter, and omit the parmesan.

Image of Nigella's Minestrone
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 40 grams butter
  • 3 onions (peeled and finely sliced)
  • 5 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped fairly small)
  • 300 grams potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 3 courgettes (diced)
  • 100 grams fine green beans (cut into 1cm / ½ inch lengths)
  • 225 grams savoy cabbage (shredded)
  • 1½ litres stock (beef, chicken or vegetable as you wish)
  • rind of finished piece of Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 400 grams can of cannellini beans (drained)
  • 150 grams ditalini or chifferi rigati (or other soup pasta)
  • 40 grams freshly grated Parmesan (plus more to serve) - see Additional Information below
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 onions (peeled and finely sliced)
  • 5 carrots (peeled and diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped fairly small)
  • 12 ounces potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 3 zucchini (diced)
  • 4 ounces slender green beans (cut into 1cm / ½ inch lengths)
  • 3 cups savoy cabbage (shredded)
  • 6 cups stock (beef, chicken or vegetable as you wish)
  • rind of finished piece of Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 15 ounces can of cannellini beans (drained)
  • 1 cup ditalini or chifferi rigati (or other soup pasta)
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus more to serve) - see Additional Information below

Method

  1. Get a big pot and put in the oil and butter and sliced onion and cook until the onion is softened but not browned.
  2. Add the chopped carrot, cooking for about 3 minutes, and then add the celery, potatoes, courgettes and French beans, cooking each one for a few minutes, stirring a few times. Then add the shredded cabbage and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring now and then.
  3. Add the stock, and rind of cheese if you are using it, give a good stir and taste for seasoning.
  4. Cover the pan and cook at a gentle simmer for 2 hours, until the soup has reduced slightly but still has enough liquid in it for the pasta to absorb while it’s cooking. Do add some water before you add the pasta if you need to.
  5. Remove the lid and add the cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes, then turn up the heat slightly and add the pasta cooking according to the packet instructions.
  6. When it is ready, take out the Parmesan rind, add the fresh Parmesan and give the pan a good stir. Serve with more cheese.
  1. Get a big pot and put in the oil and butter and sliced onion and cook until the onion is softened but not browned.
  2. Add the chopped carrot, cooking for about 3 minutes, and then add the celery, potatoes, zucchini and French beans, cooking each one for a few minutes, stirring a few times. Then add the shredded cabbage and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring now and then.
  3. Add the stock, and rind of cheese if you are using it, give a good stir and taste for seasoning.
  4. Cover the pan and cook at a gentle simmer for 2 hours, until the soup has reduced slightly but still has enough liquid in it for the pasta to absorb while it’s cooking. Do add some water before you add the pasta if you need to.
  5. Remove the lid and add the cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes, then turn up the heat slightly and add the pasta cooking according to the packet instructions.
  6. When it is ready, take out the Parmesan rind, add the fresh Parmesan and give the pan a good stir. Serve with more cheese.

Additional Information

For vegetarians replace the Parmesan with a vegetarian alternative.

For vegetarians replace the Parmesan with a vegetarian alternative.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • It is delicious. Added a puck of my homemade pesto as well a rind from Parmesan cheese

    Posted by Suzpastels on 30th January 2021
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