MINESTRONE SOUP: just as simple as should be

Ok, I need to explode the myth about Minestrone being some sort of “tomatoey” soup with some strange green veggies “floating” in it and pasta, (!!!), very often broken spaghetti (I would never do such harm to my spaghetti, never break them ) that would look like floating lasagna after couple of hours (pasta keeps expanding because of the liquids).

Of course we can eat pasta (or rice) with our minestrone: but I would cook the pasta just enough for that meal and eat just after cooking it. If you plan to prepare your minestrone in advance, morning for evening dinner, just cook some pasta (no broken spaghetti PLEASE….) like ditalini (here you find pasta in alphabetic order https://pastafits.org/pasta-shapes/) or rice right before serving it. Or even better: use my beloved barley!! That is something you can use even if you prepare your minestrone in the morning for the evening dinner: still have “the bite” after hours.

One fact: Minestrone is Italian. The word Minestrone means: soup with mixed vegetables.

Which one? There is not a specific recipe for that. You just open your fridge and see what you have. I can tell you what SHOULDN’T be in your soup: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, baby corn, mushrooms, eggplants, cilantro, peppers (any color or shape).

Instead you need to choose vegetables with flavors that blend together in harmony: carrots, celery, potatoes, courgette, potatoes, green beans, peas, onion, leeks, beans (not black or red kidney) like cannellini. And spinach, basil, parsley and one clove of garlic, just for the sake of it.

I remember an advert in Italy: there was a frozen Minestrone blend (you would need to cook it) claiming it had 14 different vegetables. That is my goal: adding as much as is available at the grocery store (or my fridge), including herbs such as basil and parsley.

You don’t need to have all the vegetable listed above, just remember: avoid any strong flavored vegetable. The following recipe yields 4

MINESTRONE SOUP: just as simple as should be

Recipe by SamCourse: Soups, MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 large carrots, peeled

  • 2 celery stalks, washed

  • Some cherry tomatoes

  • 2 potatoes, peeled

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 big courgette, washed

  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • salt

  • water


  • Start dicing all the vegetable, same size dice. You want to see as many vegetable as possible in your spoon. Start with onion ans set aside. Then you dice: carrot, celery, potatoes and courgette
  • Cook the onions and celery with some olive oil until soft. Don’t turn your onion to brown, or the flavor would be too strong. This process is called sautéing or sauteing: a method of cooking that uses a relatively small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively medium heat. This is also called soffritto in Italian and is the base for most of our sauces and soups. With soffritto you will have such a flavor that no vegetable or meat stock is needed (I basically NEVER use any store bought stock).
  • Add all the other vegetables add with some salt (will help the juices to come out and vegetable will cook for few minutes in their own juices) cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • This passage is optional: I like to give a “meaty” kick to my soup: I let the pancetta to sweat for 5 minutes in a pan so I can remove that almost all the fat and add it to the soup.
  • Now I cover the vegetables with just enough hot water, add the cherry tomatoes and the chopped herb. I’ll cook covered with a lid for 40 minutes
  • Now it’s time to serve: I like to toast some homemade bread and rub it with some garlic and a sprinkle of Parmigiano cheese will complete your meal.


  • I am NOT a sommelier but I know what I like. And with this soup I find this Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot a perfect match. Bought if from Aldi, 6 quids and no, is not Italian but a not so surprisingly fine South African wine ( Stellenboch)

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