Winter minestrone (and a cookbook giveaway)

Like I have mentioned before, a minestrone should be made with seasonal ingredients and the addition of cabbage in this recipe makes this soup hearty and comforting for this winter weather still ahead.

An Italian soup most often starts with a soffritto, a combination of onion, celery and carrot, garlic and, in this specific recipe, I decided to add pancetta and rosemary for a more robust base. I discovered borlotti beans not long ago and, with their nutty flavour and their consistency, they are rapidly becoming my favourite legume. I like to use cavatelli in soups and stews because they hold their shape and consistency well even after soaking in a broth for a long time.

As most soups and stews, the flavour will improve with time so make sure you make enough to have leftovers.

Winter minestrone


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
50 grams pancetta, diced
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 potato, chopped
1 turnip, finely chopped
1/2 small green cabbage, chopped
2 liters vegetable or chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 parmesan rind (optional)
1 can beans (borlotti, cannellini or red kidney bean), drained and rinsed
2 handfuls of short pasta such as cavatelli
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
parmesan, for garnish
salt and pepper


1. In a large pot, cook the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, pancetta and rosemary in the olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are reduced to a thick purée, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the potato, turnip, cabbage, broth, bay leaf and parmesan rind and simmer, partially covered, until all the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.
4. Add the beans and the pasta and cook until the pasta is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve in individual bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated parmesan.

Winter minestrone

You may also like:

Spring minestrone with mint and basil pesto (Mon Food Blog)

Cookbook Giveaway

Tuscany, the cookbook

My next post will be my 100th already and I have decided to celebrate this by giving away an Italian cookbook.

Tuscany, from Phaidon, is a wonderful cookbook I bought maybe one year ago. It is filled with history, beautiful photographs and wonderful, traditional Tuscan recipes. The recipes are easy to follow and I think this cookbook can easily become your best kitchen companion.

If you want to enter the contest, here is what you have to do:

1. Leave a (nice) comment on this post;


2. Follow Mon Food Blog on WordPress (if you are not already a follower);


3. Like Mon Food Blog on Facebook;


4. Follow me on Twitter.

One cookbook will be given away and the winner will be picked randomly. It will be delivered to your door directly from or depending on where the winner lives. I will give the name of the winner in my next post. You have until Tuesday, March 5th to enter for a chance to win. Good luck to everyone and thank you for following Mon Food Blog! I really appreciate all the good feedback I have been getting.

11 replies »

  1. I’m sure it’s a bit colder in your neck of the woods, but I am definitely on the hunt for soup recipes to keep me warm through the March snows here in Denver. Love your blog and am excited to enter the cookbook giveaway contest. I could some Tuscany daydreams while I wait for the flowers to bloom!


  2. Minestrone has always been a favorite soup, a bit of a stodgy standby,but a favorite fir it’s hearty goodness. But I haven’t made it for years. This recipe makes it somehow sound more fresh and modern (my mom would certainly just have used macaroni and kidney beans, and there was no question of pancetta!). Looking forward to trying it. Hope I can find all the ingredients here in Iceland!


    • If you can’t find all the ingredients, don’t worry and cook with what you have. This is the beauty of this soup! Any combination of vegetables, legumes and pasta will do.


  3. This lucky girl got to taste this soup made by the chef himself and I can attest that it is super scrumptious. Made even better with the excellent company! Love your blog, Dan!


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