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
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:
- Put in your freezer for another day – it keeps very well.
- 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.
- Serve it tepid on a warm day.