Classic Minestrone – Italian Recipe

Serves 6-8


  • 25 g/1 oz. /2 tbsps. butter
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil
  • 3 slices streaky/fatty bacon
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled.
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 400 g/14 oz. /2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
  • 25 liters/2 ¼ pints/5 ¼ cups chicken stock
  • 175 g/6 oz. /2 ½ cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 50 g/2 oz. / ½ cup trimmed and halved French/green beans
  • 3 tbsps. frozen petits pois
  • 50 g/2 oz. spaghetti
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese shavings, to garnish
  • crusty bread, to serve


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.

Cover 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, petits pois and spaghetti, broken into short pieces. Cover and simmer for a further 20 minutes, 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 shavings sprinkled on top and plenty of crusty bread.