Rustic Minestrone Soup

This is a recipe I found when watching Italian Food Safari.  I was so struck by how simple it looked and how tasty it sounded I made a mental note to track it down and attempt it myself.  I even had the iPad showing the video while I made the soup.  I did make a huge pot so I have amended the recipe for the quantity I made…


This isn’t your traditional bright red Minestrone with pasta in it.  it is a real rustic soup with so many flavours and textures it is an adventure to eat.

The trick of the parmesan cheese is so clever.  When you get to the end of your fresh piece of Parmesan cheese the rind usually gets thrown away.  Save these bits of rind from now on!  You just scrape off any wax and cut them into small cubes and put them in the soup near the end of cooking time.  They melt but not altogether so you get a wonderful chewy almost pasta like parmesan explosion when you bite into one.

Minestrone in pot


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large diced onions

8 cloves of garlic, each cut into 3-4 pieces

1 sliced celery heart (including the tender light-green leaves)

1 bunch of small dutch carrots, cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 Savoy cabbage, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 bunch of cavolo nero, roughly chopped

1/2 cup of carnaloni Italian rice

3 200gm tins of cooked beans, I used borlotti and cannelloni

350g of peeled and diced waxy potatoes

1 bottle of good quality tomato passata

1 cup parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper

60g parmesan rind, cut into 1cm cubes

Freshly grated parmesan and good quality olive oil to serve…


Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onion, garlic, celery heart, carrot, and cabbage.

Lightly fry the vegetables for 2–3 minutes without letting them colour.

Stir in the potato then cover the ingredients with water and add the tomato passata

Once the soup comes to the boil, add the rice and turn down to a simmer.

Add a few good pinches of salt and simmer for 20–25 minutes.

Add the cavalo nero, beans, parsley and parmesan rind and simmer for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and the rice is tender

Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding extra salt if needed, and pepper.

Serve with plenty of grated parmesan and a sprinkling of good olive oil

Is even better the next day and is wonderful with crusty bread…

**Cavalo Nero is a Tuscan kale available at most supermarkets these days – you can subtitute spinach

**Carnaroli rice is a type of Arborio rice of which any kind can be used.  This one is just excellent for soups because of it’s texture

Bon Appetit!  🙂


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Deena Kakaya says:

    Lizzie that is my kind of soup, lovely z

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