The classic Italian soup, Minestrone, is a symphony of flavours and colours.

minestrone Italian soup

London, 14th February 2013 – I prefer to use seasonal vegetables to cook Minestrone which is a simple soup full of natural flavors. The only vegetables that have survived the winter frost in my allotment are spinach, leeks and Brussels sprouts. I added a few other vegetables in season such as savoy cabbage and prepared my Minestrone.

Minestrone, seasonal vegetables

As for the Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and beans) recipe, there are many versions of this classic Italian recipe. Many people use pancetta to enhance the flavours of the vegetables and add pasta, but I prefer only using vegetables to enjoy their natural flavours. We ate the soup with chunky vegetable pieces and topped with a lot of Parmesan and Pecorino cheese. It was a hearty meal: ‘delicious and very healthy ‘ commented my husband.

Italian Minestrone soup blended with pesto

The next day for lunch I blended the leftover minestrone and made a quick pesto. For the pesto, I chopped roughly basil, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, parmesan and pecorino and mixed with extra virgin olive oil; then I added the fresh pesto on top of the blended Minestrone.

The blended Minestrone combines the vegetable flavours beautifully and creates a smooth, velvety soup. The strong flavour of the pesto added an extra dimension. Both versions, chunky and blended, are delicious in different ways.

I’m entering this recipe into the February Simple and in Season which is organised by Ren Behan from Fabulicious Food and this month is hosted by Caroline at Cake, Crumbs and Cooking.




(Vegetable Soup)



  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 2 cm thick
  • 100 g carrot, peeled and cut into chunks 2 cm thick
  • 100 g celery, peeled and cut into chunks 2 cm thick
  • 100 g leek, peeled and cut into chunks 2 cm thick
  • 100 g savoy cabbage, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 50 g spinach, small, young leaves
  • 50 g Brussels sprouts, individual leaves pulled off
  • 100 g green peas (I used frozen garden peas)
  • 250 g borlotti beans (I used canned borlotti beans)
  • 1Lt vegetable stock
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • parmesan, pecorino and a dash of top quality extra virgin olive oil for serving.


stirfried onion

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add onion. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.

minestrone vegetables

Add the vegetables except peas, mix well and stir fry over a medium high heat for 2 – 3 minutes.

Italian minestrone recipe

Add the stock, peas, baby plum tomatoes, and season with salt. Cover and bring to the boil (10 minutes circa).

Italian minestrone recipe

Add the borlotti beans and then simmer uncovered over a medium high heat for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked but still firm to the bite (al dente).

Serve Minestrone sprinkled with plenty of Parmesan, Pecorino and black pepper and drizzled with a dash of very good extra virgin olive oil.


Italian Minetrone soup

Click the picture for a printable version of Minestrone recipe!

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46 Responses to The classic Italian soup, Minestrone, is a symphony of flavours and colours.

  1. I just love this soup, it is the colours that look so beautiful and the flavours too I know will taste delicious. This is great in every season, adapting it according to what veggies you ave a glut of. My children love it too!

  2. Wow Rita,
    Your soup looks so inviting! It’s raining here as I am typing and what could be better than this warm and comforting soup! LOVE IT!!!

  3. That looks delicious Rita, and a perfect way to showcase all of the beautiful veggie that are in season now. I love the way that minestrone is so versatile and your version looks beautiful. I like the idea of blending the leftovers to change it up too. Thanks for entering this into simple and in season.

    • Rita says:

      Thank you, Caroline! I try to eat as much as possible veggie in season and the Minestrone is the perfect recipe to use all the vegetables available and create new exciting version of the same simple dish.

  4. I read this post while I was having the worst flu and my life and could not eat anything… gee did I long for this soup when i saw your pictures! I thought “this is the only thing I could really enjoy right now if only I had someone to shop and cook it for me!”. now I am well again and this very minestrone is on my to-do list 🙂

    • Rita says:

      I hope that you feel much better now!!! A soup is always a great comfort when you do not feel well…but you need to find someone to prepare it for you!

  5. I love minestrone, this looks lovely. Great use of cabbage!

    • Rita says:

      I need to use all the cabbage in the allotment! Cabbage in my omelette, cabbage in my pasta sauces and in my….MINESTRONE!

  6. Rita, what a clever idea to use seasonal vegetables for this soup! I made minestrone soup last night and used kale, leek, and other vegetables. I was a bit conserned about kale, but it came out very good. 🙂

  7. Donalyn says:

    I love minestrone – it is one of my favorites and really very versatile. This looks quite amazing!

  8. Tandy says:

    I have only just fallen asleep now love with beans and with the Parmesan I’m sure this soup is extremely delicious 🙂

  9. It has been a really long while since I last had a good minestrone. This looks irresistible!

  10. Alida says:

    Io mangerei miniestrone ogni giorno. Ma cosa potrebbe esserci di piu’ sano e delizioso di un buon minestrone? Poi ti senti sazio e nutrito, un pieno di bonta’! L’anno scorso mi sono portata i fagioli freschi dall’Italia e li ho surgelati. Adesso uso quelli secchi e li ammollo per evitare di portare troppo peso in valigia. Mi piace questo piatto fatto in tutti i modi possibili. Ciao carissima!

    • Rita says:

      ah i fagioli freschi… ho in mente l’imagine delle aziane abruzzesi nel piccolo villaggio dove e’ nato mio padre che sgranano i fagioli e li lasciano al sole ad asciugare!! Certo a portali in valigia non ci avevo mai pensato! Forse potrei provare a farli crescere nell’orto. Sono cosi’ felice che finalmente sta arrivando la stagione della semina e ho mille idee e semi che vorrei coltivare!!!

  11. Good to see that some of your veg. escaped the Winter frost Rita! Love home made Minestrone soup and your version makes it truly authentic! Perfect for Winter.

  12. barbara testani says:

    Sei fantastica come sempre

  13. Monet says:

    Ryan and I were just talking about how good minestrone soup sounded! Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you had a fabulous week, and I hope your weekend brims with good food, laughter, and love.

  14. This looks beautiful. Soup is a regular on our menu but I very rarely make minestrone. When I have I’ve always added pasta, I have to admit that I hadn’t realised that it didn’t have to contain it. One to add to my list I think!

  15. Choclette says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a beautiful bowl of Minestrone before. It looks so vibrant and delicious I can imagine it being a real energy booster.

  16. Adri says:

    Healthy indeed, and so satisfying. And it is versatile too. I enjoy the pure vegetable taste. I always enjoy your posts, and I am so glad to have found your site. We can thank Chiara for that!

    • Rita says:

      Thank you Adri, I try to post recipes of dishes that I like to eat. Minestrone is the guilt free recipe! I agree with you: it’s great to meet new and interesting people online and be able to share what you like with others.

  17. petra08 says:

    hello Rita

    this looks delicious! I wish I had some or lunch today. I love the colors. Minestrone is one of my favorite soups!

  18. cakewhiz says:

    the title says it all! i wish i had all those veggies right now so i could prepare this 😀

    • Rita says:

      I prepare Minestrone with the vegetables in season so please feel free to use the vegetables that YOU have (potatoes, peas and borlotti beans are the basic ingredients!)

  19. I love minestrone, thanks for sharing your recipe for this delicious and comforting soup.

  20. carla says:

    Un bellissimo, coloratissimo, buonissimo e sano minestrone, brava!!!
    Posso darti un consiglio? 15 minuti prima della fine della cottura io inserisco delle croste di formaggio Grana o Parmigiano, danno molto sapore e sono buonissime da mangiare diventano morbide come chewingum, prima di metterle le raschio con il coltello e le lavo.

    • Rita says:

      Grazie Carla! Un minestrone caldo e pieno di cose buone ci vuole! Riguardo le croste…me le sono DIMENTICATE! Grazie ancora per avermerlo ricordato, sono sicura che le croste danno al brodo quel tocco in piu’, anche la mia mamma lo fa sempre! Ciao

  21. Hi Rita! I can finally leave a comment on your blog again – I’ve been having problems for months, I don’t know why. I’ve often tried – I love your recipes!

    Anyway, this looks amazing, the colours are still so vibrant. I love ‘real’ minestrone but prefer someone (mio suocero preferibilmente!) to make it for me because I’m usually too lazy to prepare all the vegetables!

    • Rita says:

      Oh, I am sorry that you had problems with my site. I even pay a WEB HOST PROVIDER! I will ask them about this.
      It is tedious to prepare the vegetables…the veggies from the allotment are also full of soil and sometimes a few little ‘friends’ like mini slugs! It’s nice to have someone to make it for you (magari mio suocero fosse qui, anche a lui piace fare questo genere di cose!!).

  22. andreamynard says:

    Looks delicious Rita. Sounds as if you have the same sort of veg left on your allotment as I do in the garden, having to rely on local farmshops a bit now. But the sun today is getting me excited about all that Spring planting. Do you ever add parmesan rinds or do you keep your version nicely simple?

    • Rita says:

      I feel happy too! The sun melted the snow and I can see my plot again!! I keep the potatoes starter inside our ‘cold room’ (there is not radiator yet!!) and wait until the temperature will be over 8 degree (??)…. I did not use the Parmesan rind because I FORGOT! I even have some rind in my fridge!!! I usually grate my Parmesan piece as much as I can and keep the rind for soups…next time I will!! Ciao

  23. Claudia says:

    Amo il minestrone.. quando lo facciamo abbondiamo così da surgelarlo ed averlo per quando nhe abbiamo voglia!! Ottimo il tuo con tutte quelle belle verdure.. anche cavolini di Bruxelles!!!! bacioni cara 🙂

    • Rita says:

      Hai proprio ragione Cara Claudia a surgelarlo, la ricetta e’ piuttosto semplice ma pulire tutte le verdure e tagliale piu’ meno della stessa misura e’ un lavoro noioso per cui e’ meglio farne una grossa porzione e sugelarlo per quando se ne ha voglia!!

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