Recipe from The Silver Spoon

Milanese Minestrone

A recipe from The Silver Spoon

Preparation time:  30 min 

Cooking time: 2 hr 50 min

Serves: 4–6 people


40g / 11/2 oz lardoons or pancetta, diced

1/2 clove garlic  

1/2 onion

1 sprig fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 celery stick

3 tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and diced

2 carrots, chopped

3 potatoes, chopped

2 courgettes, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

200g / 7 oz (1 ¾ cups) shelled peas

1/2 Savoy cabbage, shredded

100g / 31/2 oz (3/4 cup) fresh shelled borlotti beans

100g / 31/2 oz (1/2 cup) long-grain rice

4 fresh sage leaves, chopped

6 fresh basil leaves, chopped 


Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, to serve


Finely chop the lardons with the garlic and onion. When the mixture is quite fine, add the parsley and celery and chop. 

Put the mixture into a saucepan, add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, courgettes and oil and pour in 2 litres / 3 ½ pints water. 

Season with salt and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for at least 2 hours. 

Add the peas, beans and cabbage, simmer for 15 minutes, then add the rice and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further 18 minutes until it is tender. 

Stir in the herbs, ladle into a soup tureen and serve with plenty of Parmesan.

This minestrone should be fairly thick. It is excellent hot, but it is also good served warm or cold in the summer.