Mum’s minestrone recipe

One of my fond memories of food has always been my Mum’s minestrone soup.  Canned soups always taste too sweet and I know I’ll be disappointed if I order it in a restaurant, so I wanted her recipe to make it myself.  I now have soup in the freezer ready for those days where I feel ill and need some comfort of a homemade soup.

I normally add variations on to a recipe or divert from it. However, I learnt not to mess with a classic this time round as I put far too much Parmesan and far too much pasta (pasta swelling in size and absorbing liquid of course!).


  • 40g of butter
  • 8 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large onion thinnly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100g of ham hock
  • 1 can of haricot beans
  • Sprigs of fresh marjoram, thyme and basil
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 100g of French beans, chopped
  • 175g of cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium courgettes, diced
  • 50g of small pasta shapes
  • 2 tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the oil and butter together in a large pan over a moderate heat
  2. Add onion and garlic until soft and golden
  3. Add the ham hock and cook for a few minutes
  4. Drain the haricot beans and add to pan with herbs, tomatoes and 2 1/4 pints of water
  5. Give a good stir and bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, adding more water if necessary
  6. Add the carrots and potato and cook for another 5 mins
  7. Add the rest of the vegetables and 50g of pasta.  The pasta may look like nothing in the big pot, but trust me, it’ll be fine! Cook for a further 10 mins.
  8. Season to taste and add in the 2 tbsp of Parmesan. Again, it may not look like much, but it’s just to slightly thicken the soup. Too much will make it more solid.

When you serve this, it’s best with some extra Parmesan grated on top of the bowl with some extra basil.

From my home to yours, enjoy!



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