There is no set recipe for minestrone soup since it can be usually made with whatever vegetables or meat one has at home. Just a note that the vegetables are a guide and you can create your version depending on the vegetables you have and like. This is my vegetarian version – which I like to serve with crusty bread for lunch.
50 grams green cabbage shredded
100 grams cauliflower cut into small florets
2 zucchini cut into 1 centimetre dice
100 grams mushrooms cut eighths or quarters depending on size
1 large carrot diced evenly
2 sticks celery sliced thinly
1 x 400 grams tin plum tomatoes in juice
1 x 400 grams tin Borlotti beans drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
50 grams orzo or risoni
3 plump garlic cloves finely chopped
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra to serve
4 tablespoons finely grated or microplaned Parmigiano Reggiano for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the onions for a few minutes. Then add the garlic, celery and carrots and fry for three or four minutes. Then add the chilli flakes, oregano and the remaining vegetables. Continue frying intermittently for a further five minutes. Then add the tomato paste followed by the tomatoes in their juice. Add a litre of water and bring it up to the boil. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Give it a good stir after this period, add the borlotti beans and salt. Continue cooking for a further 10 minutes and add the orzo or rizoni. Cook for another 5 -7 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
Just before serving, once dished out into individual bowls, sprinkle the cheese and pour a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on top. Serve immediately with bread.