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This is a classical Italian soup with mixed vegetable and beans, using pasta or rice.

 Italians don’t tend to eat many soups as they make pasta or rice dishes for a first course. But it’s great to have a hot soup in winter .

Furthermore this can be served at room temperature or  slightly tepid in summer.


200g of any sort of cooked small pasta or cooked rice

100gm chopped or small leaf spinach

½ a small, green or white chopped cabbage or chopped  zucchini                 (Zia Mirella suggests you can use any mixture of vegetables that you like )

2-3 potatoes, an onion, a carrot and a stick of celery

1 tomato

2-3 rashes of bacon

A tin of Italian “Borlotti” beans – you can find these at most supermarkets

A little Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ glass of red wine

1 litre of chicken stock made from a soup cube

A dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the chopped onion, chopped tomato, chopped bacon, into a saucepan with a little olive oil and allow to cook gently until soft over  a medium heat.

Add the red wine and continue cooking until the wine has been absorbed.

Now add all the chopped vegetables, the tin of beans, (first draining the liquid ) add little water and mix well.

Then  add the  stock and let it all cook on a moderate heat for a further 35-40 minutes.

When it is ready throw in the cooked pasta or rice and serve.

A hint from Zia Mirella keep the cooked  pasta or rice that you have prepared hot , otherwise just let the minestrone soup heat up a little more . DO NOT boil it again or the pasta or rice will be over cooked.

Serve with a bowl of grated Parmesan cheese.

If you’ve cooked too much, Mirella suggests:

  1. Put in your freezer for another day – it keeps very well.
  2. Take out some of the liquid, put the remainder in a mixer and you get a lovely thick soup. Add a little milk or cooking cream and serve with French toast or crackers.
  3. Serve it tepid on a warm day.