Classic minestrone

Posted: July 1, 2011 by nietize in Italian, Soup
Tags: , , , , ,

From Let’s Cook Italian & Pasta
Serves 6-8

25g butter
3 tbsp olive oil
3 rashers streaky bacon
1 large onion, peeled
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 celery stick, trimmed
2 carrots, peeled
400g canned tomatoes
1.1 litre chicken stock
175g green cabbage, finely shredded
50g French beans, trimmed and halved
3 tbsp frozen petits pois
50g spaghetti broken into short pieces
salt and freshly grond black pepper
Parmesan cheese to garnish

Heat the butter and olive oil together in a large saucepan. Chop the bacon and add to the saucepan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Finely chop the onion, garlic, celery and carrots and add to the saucepan, one ingredient at a time, stirring well after each addition. Cook and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are softened.

Add the chopped tomatoes, with their juice and the stock, bring to the boil, then cover the saucepan with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage, beans, peas and spaghetti pieces. Cover and simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until all the ingredients are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the cooked bacon to the saucepan and bring the soup to the boil. Serve the soup immediately with Parmesan cheese and plenty of crusty bread to accompany it.

I have always thought that the distinctive taste of minestrone soup is from beef stock. I only realised that it is actually the bacon that gives it that wonderful flavour when I first cooked it. I think my minestrone soup definitely tastes better than the canned ones!

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