There are many variations of a hearty and nutritious minestrone soup, and it’s super simple to tweak based on what vegetables you may have on hand. The classic minestrone is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables and pasta and/or rice. However, there is no set recipe for minestrone; it can be vegetarian or not and you can totally leave out the grain as well! The one thing that should stay constant is the borlotti beans (aka Roman beans) to make for a genuine minestrone.
Gordon Ramsay is one of my favourite chef’s. I often flip through his cookbooks to find inspiration when cooking and must say he has an amazing authentic Minestrone recipe. I usually follow his lead on this one and adapt as I go along, usually minus the back bacon and pasta (see my variation below).
Minestrone (yields 4-6 servings)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle (optional)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- himalayan sea salt
- ground black pepper
- fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 80g smoked back bacon/pancetta, trimmed of fat and chopped (I often leave this out)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 x 400g tins romano beans, rinsed and drained
- 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 600-800ml vegetable stock or water
- large handful of basil, finely shredded
- parmesan, for grating (optional)
- Heat oil in a large pot, add onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Stir frequently over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
- Add the thyme, bay leaf and bacon. Increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another minute.
- Add in the romano beans and cherry tomatoes, then pour in the stock or water to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Top with shredded basil and some grated parmesan.
Warm up! xx