Minestrone Maltese

Serves 4 • Preparation time : 20 minutes • Cooking time : 30 minutes

1–2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1.2 litres vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin of tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1 piece of Parmesan rind (optional)

1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

80g little pasta shapes

150g peas

1 courgette, cut into chunks

a good grating of nutmeg

70g bacon lardons (optional)

a few celery leaves, chopped

freshly grated Parmesan cheese,

to garnish

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cost per portion: 
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a low to medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and soften gently for about 5 minutes. Then add the rosemary and cook for another 2 minutes or so to release its oils
  2. Now add the stock, tomatoes, bay leaf and the Parmesan rind (if you’re using it), and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the beans, and simmer for another 15 minutes or so
  3. Add the pasta, and cook, as per the instructions on the packet, until done.  About 5 minutes before the end, add the remaining vegetables
  4. Finally, add a couple of gratings of fresh nutmeg and stir it into the soup, and then season to taste
  5. Serve garnished with chopped celery leaves and a good grating of Parmesan


  • Minestrone simply means ‘a big soup’, so you can pretty much put into it anything you like.  Instead of the peas, why not add about 400g of trimmed and sliced kale or chard?
Age range: 
Ages 9 to 12
Kay’s Minestrone Maltese