Marco's minestrone soup recipe would make for an ideal cosy starter.


  • Oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

  • 100g bacon or speck, cut into small dice

  • ¼ cup tinned pulp tomatoes

  • 2 large carrots, finely diced

  • 2 large sticks celery, diced, reserve some celery leaves for the end

  • 1 large leek, diced

  • 2 large potatoes, diced

  • ¼ cabbage, shredded

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2.5 L water

  • 5 Continental Chicken Stock Pot

  • 200g frozen peas

  • 1 x can cannellini beans, drained

  • 10 fresh basil leaves


  • 1.

    Heat oil and cook onion and garlic with no colour.

  • 2.

    Add bacon and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, carrots, celery, leek, potatoes, cabbage, bay leaf, water and Stock Pot, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour.

  • 3.

    Just before the end of cooking add peas, cannellini beans, basil and celery leaves.


This makes a large quantity and any leftovers are perfect for freezing.

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