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About this recipe: Italian grandmas had no definite rules for what went into minestrone. It just had to be hearty, with plenty of vegetables, white beans, and pasta or rice.

Lynn Cole

Serves: 8 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 x 440 g tin cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped tomatoes, or 1 x 400 g tin whole tomatoes, undrained and cut up
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano leaves and basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 60 g vermicelli or thin spaghetti, broken
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthways and sliced
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:50min 

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium- high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Stir in the beef stock, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, oregano, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil. Stir in the vermicelli. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until the pasta and vegetables are tender. Stir in the zucchini. Cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes more.
  2. Serve the minestrone with grated Parmesan cheese, passed separately in a small bowl.

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