[philiptellis] I love food, and I like writing about food. Follow me as I follow my nose, seeking out gastronomic delicacies wherever I find myself

Monday, April 18, 2011

Minestrone Soup

My mum would make minestrone soup for us when we were kids. This was back in India, so it was news to me when I found out that it's actually an Italian classic. It's traditionally a fall/winter soup, but with neither season showing up in India, it was more or less a year round evening soup. Searching online for recipes brought up many different ways of making it, with different ingredients. I got the gist of it, and decided to try my own. This is what I came up with:


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp mixed herbs (I used sage, thyme and marjoram)
  • 3 medium sized potatoes cut into cubes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1.5-2 cups kidney beans (Rajma beans in India), pre-boiled (I used prepared canned beans). Drain them.
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (along with the juice)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup shell pasta (uncooked)
  • 2 Tbsp baby spinach
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a 3-4 quart (litre) pot
  2. Add the garlic and fry on medium-low for a minute
  3. Add the herbs and fry for about 20-30 seconds while stirring
  4. Add the carrots, potatoes and beans and fry for 1 minute
  5. Add the tomatoes and mix so that everything's coated with the liquid from the tomatoes
  6. Add the mushrooms and the vegetable stock and increase the heat to high until it just starts to boil
  7. Add salt and pepper (I grind the pepper directly into the mixture), and mix
  8. Add in the pasta and spinach, and reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered until pasta is ready.
  9. Turn off the heat and serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese
We also got a large loaf of sunflower-honey bread which we lightly crisped in the oven at 300℉ for 3 minutes.

The soup came out well and serves 7-8 people as a meal in itself.