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Categories: Comfort Foods, Entertaining, Kid-friendly, Vegetarian
Type: Soups and Stews

This hearty soup makes a great lunch or dinner. Feel free to add whatever vegetables are in season

Prep Time: 20M, plus soaking the beans

Cooking Time: 2H

Serves: makes 4-6 servings


  • 1/2 cup dried white cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • one 14.5oz ( 400g) can chopped tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup elbow macaroni or ditalini
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Minestrone photo

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  1. Put the beans in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and let soak overnight. Drain the beans and place in a large saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim the surface as necessary. Boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan, and simmer for 1 hour or until just tender. Drain well and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. Stir in the beans, stock, tomatoes with their juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta and simmer for 10-12 minutes longer, or until tender. Stir in the parsley and half the cheese.
  6. Season to taste. Pour into a warmed tureen, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.
  • soak the beans in advance
  • Prepare ahead: Steps 1 and 2 can be done up to a day ahead.
  • Good with a dollop of pesto, stirred in before adding the cheese in step 3.

excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
Buy this book now!

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