Winter minestrone soup

all details

I've never confined minestrone to the colder months, but in winter it takes on such a nourishing and warming role. For me, winter minestrone is all about root vegetables, winter greens, dried beans and pasta and an intense broth with real depth of flavour. The parmesan rind is optional, but it adds intensity to the soup and really fills out the savoury profile - well worth trying.

Soup for all seasons: Roasted root vegetable minestrone with pancetta.
Soup for all seasons: Roasted root vegetable minestrone with pancetta. Photo: Marcel Aucar

Ingredients

125g small dried haricot or cannellini beans, soaked overnight (or use 250g drained tinned beans, but add them at the end of the cooking)

3 carrots, rough 3cm dice

3 parsnips, rough 3cm dice

3 white sweet potatoes, rough 3cm dice

2 tsp fennel seeds

extra virgin olive oil

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

2 large brown onions, finely diced

6 cloves garlic, sliced

4 celery stalks, diced

1 bulb fennel, diced

3cm-thick piece pancetta, diced

1 fresh bay leaf

3 sprigs thyme

3 tbsp tomato paste

10cm piece parmesan rind (optional)

1.5 litres quality chicken stock, preferably home-made

200g green beans, cut into 4cm lengths

1/2 bunch of chard or silverbeet, cut in 2cm widths including most of the stem

2 handfuls short pasta

grated parmesan, to serve

kale (optional, see tips at bottom of recipe)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced).

2. Cook the soaked beans in simmering water for 20 minutes, or until just tender - a little bite here is OK, as they'll be cooked again in the soup.

3. Meanwhile, toss the carrot, parsnip, sweet potato and fennel seeds in oil, season and tip on to a lined baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes.

4. Add a splash of oil to a large heavy-based pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, fennel and pancetta and sweat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.

5. Add the bay leaf, thyme and tomato paste to the pot and cook for two minutes while stirring. Add the roasted vegetables, cooked beans, parmesan rind, stock and one litre of water and bring to a simmer. Add the green beans and chard and cook for 15 minutes. Add the pasta for the last eight minutes of cooking. Keep an eye on the level of the liquid. It should be a thick soup but you may have to add a little more water.

6. Once cooked, adjust the seasoning (remove the parmesan rind if you like, but it will keep imparting flavour if you're not serving all the soup at once) and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some grated parmesan.

TIPS

1. Ask at your local deli for a piece of parmesan rind. They will often have some they can give you, or might put some aside for the next time you're in.

2. Roasting the vegetables adds intensity and richness to the soup; they also hold their shape better in the liquid.

3. For an optional garnish, toss some kale leaves in oil and a little salt and dehydrate in a low oven until crunchy.

Also try: Karen Martini's spring minestrone soup with pesto

Rate this recipe

Rate this recipe:

Use [left] and [right] keys to rate, [enter] to submit, [esc] to cancel.

Rate this recipe with 0.5 a star Rate this recipe with 1 star Rate this recipe with 1.5 stars Rate this recipe with 2 stars Rate this recipe with 2.5 stars Rate this recipe with 3 stars Rate this recipe with 3.5 stars Rate this recipe with 4 stars Rate this recipe with 4.5 stars Rate this recipe with 5 stars

Write a review

Thanks for voting!

Write a review

  • Main Ingredients - Carrot, Beans, Spinach/Silverbeet/Kale
  • Cuisine - Italian
  • Course - Starter/Entree, Main-course, Main-course
  • Occasion - Family meals

Similar recipes

3 comments so far

  • When do you add the roasted veg? There seems to be a step missing (or my reading skills are going south).

    Commenter
    Mrs Peel
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    July 22, 2014, 1:08PM
    • Thank you, we have fixed. At step 5!

      Commenter
      Good Food team
      Location
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 1:45PM
  • Basic, Basic, but a good guide for enhancement

    Commenter
    PK
    Location
    Emu Plains
    Date and time
    July 25, 2014, 5:06PM

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Most popular recipes

Promotions

From cooking advice to top accessories, here's a food lover's barbecue guide.

Winemaker Louisa Rose is the custodian of both Yalumba tradition and innovation.

Cook discussions

Thai beef salad

Sort of 'Thai Beef Salad'..the real version is simple and superb - why bugger about with it? Read more

Commenter
Sleuth
Date and time
2 days ago

Cook discussions

Thai beef salad

Sort of 'Thai Beef Salad'..the real version is simple and superb - why bugger about with it? Read more

Commenter
Sleuth
Date and time
2 days ago

Cook discussions

Thai beef salad

Sort of 'Thai Beef Salad'..the real version is simple and superb - why bugger about with it? Read more

Commenter
Sleuth
Date and time
2 days ago

Cook discussions

Thai beef salad

Sort of 'Thai Beef Salad'..the real version is simple and superb - why bugger about with it? Read more

Commenter
Sleuth
Date and time
2 days ago

Cook discussions

Thai beef salad

Sort of 'Thai Beef Salad'..the real version is simple and superb - why bugger about with it? Read more

Commenter
Sleuth
Date and time
2 days ago