Minestrone Soup, Parmesan and Bread
If Italian rice is not to your taste, replace with thin spaghetti or cannelloni beans. All are authentic Italian, just from different regions of Italy
110g / 4oz Italian risotto rice
55g / 2oz Streaky bacon
170g / 6oz Carrots
Two sticks of celery
One medium onion
Two medium tomatoes
225g / 8oz leeks
175g / 6oz green cabbage (savoy if possible)
Two garlic cloves
One level tablespoon tomato puree
Three tablespoons olive oil
Fresh chopped basil (2 tablespoons) or dried basil (2 level teaspoons)
Two tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1.1 litres / 2 pints chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove any rind from the bacon and chop the bacon into small pieces.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Top and tail the celery then chop up into small pieces (see pictures below for approximate size).
Top and tail the carrot then chop up into small pieces (see pictures below for approximate size).
Chop up the tomato into small chunks.
Peel the garlic cloves then chop finely or crush.
If using fresh basil, tear into shreds
The beauty of this recipe is that you can use the vegetables that you like most. If you don't like carrots, replace them with cubed potatoes, the same is true for most of the ingredients.
The word minestrone come from the Italian word "minestra" which means big soup. Dating back to before pre-Roman times, minestrone soup originally used leftovers. In the 1700s the soup gradually formed into the more standard recipe of today.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the frying pan and warm to a medium heat. Add the chopped streaky bacon pieces and turn them frequently for two minutes.
Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook for a further two minutes.
Frying streaky bacon
Turn the heat down low then add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, carrots, celery, tomato and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 15 minutes stirring every five minutes to ensure all the ingredients are cooked evenly.
If you have a lid, place it on the frying pan so the vegetables "sweat".
Slowly fry Minestrone vegetables
Add the risotto rice and stir well for three minutes to ensure all the ingredients are mixed.
Add the stock, tomato puree and basil to the pan. Bring the soup to the boil then turn the heat down low and simmer for 30 minu
The amount of stock can be a little more or less than in the ingredients list depending on how thick you prefer your soup.
Add risotto rice to Minestrone
Have a sneak taste and add salt and pepper to season your Minestrone the way you want. Add the chopped leeks and chopped cabbage. Stir in well and cook for another 30 minutes.
Final touches to Minestrone
Add the parsley and stir in well. Serve the soup in warm bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with Italian bread.
A taste of Italy in your home, made by you!