Tuscan minestrone soup

This classic Italian minestrone soup recipe is a warming, economical meal for chilly winter nights. Serve with plenty of crusty bread and parmesan cheese

  • 15 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 rindless bacon rashers, chopped
  • 150 gram green beans, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cup vegetable stock
  • 400 gram can diced tomatoes
  • 400 gram can butter beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • finely grated parmesan, crusty bread to serve


  • 1
    In a large, heavy-based saucepan, heat oil on medium. Sauté bacon, beans, onion, celery, carrot and garlic for 5-8 minutes.
  • 2
    Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour in stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.
  • 3
    Add butter beans and zucchini. Cook, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes until zucchini is tender. Stir basil through.
  • 4
    Ladle into warm bowls and serve topped with basil and parmesan. Accompany with crusty bread.


  • Omit the bacon to make this a vegetarian soup, if preferred.