Nonna Maria's Simple Winter Minestrone Soup

There are many different recipes for minestrone, but this one from the northeast of Italy is our favourite because it is much thicker and heartier than many of the others we’ve tried. This delicious recipe has been passed down through generations and is incredibly easy to make, using a simple list of ingredients. It’s lovely served with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and some crusty Italian bread.


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4-5 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3-4 large carrots, sliced thinly
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2cm chunks
  • 1L - 1.25L chicken stock
  • 1 or 2 400g tins borlotti beans
  • 50-100g Farfalle pasta (optional)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil over a low heat and add the onions. Cook until they're translucent but don't allow them to brown
  2. Add the celery, carrots and potatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add enough stock (or 2 stock cubes and water) to just cover the vegetables in the pan
  4. Cover the pot and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to allow to simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Mash the contents of the pot roughly and then add the beans (these can be drained or undrained)
  6. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes
  7. Add the pasta and simmer for a further 10 minutes (or until the pasta is cooked properly). If you're not using pasta you can skip this step
  8. Serve with bread and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese

BK Tips

  • See our chicken stock recipe for a great minestrone base
  • If you would prefer a less thick soup, add more chicken broth at the start, or during the cooking. For an even thicker soup, remove the lid during the last part of the cooking
  • This is a great meal to freeze on the same day in individual portions and heat up whenever you're hungry for a hearty soup
  • You can mix up the beans if you'd like to try cannellini or even kidney beans