Minestrone with Macaroni

If you have a food processor, it makes very light work of chopping the vegetables. But use the pulse button so you don't chop them too small. For a change, you can replace the macaroni with Italian risotto rice. Either way, serve it with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6

This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course, One is Fun! and The Delia Collection: Soup.

Minestrone with Macaroni
 3 oz (75 g) shortcut macaroni
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 2 oz (50 g) streaky bacon, rinds removed and finely chopped
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 2 celery stalks, washed and finely chopped
 6 oz (175 g) carrots, washed and finely chopped
 2 fresh or tinned tomatoes, chopped
 1 clove garlic, crushed
 2½ pints (1.5 litres) Ham Bone Stock (see below)
 1½ tablespoons fresh torn basil
 8 oz (225 g) leeks, washed and finely chopped
 6 oz (175 g) green cabbage, washed and finely shredded
 1 level dessertspoon tomato purée
 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
To serve:
 lots of grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)


First heat up the butter and oil in a large saucepan, then add the bacon and cook this for a minute or two before adding the onion, followed by the celery and carrots and then the tomatoes.

Now stir in the crushed garlic and some salt and pepper, then cover and cook very gently for 20 minutes or so to allow the vegetables to sweat – give it an occasional stir to prevent the vegetables sticking. Then pour in the stock along with the basil.

Bring to the boil and simmer gently (covered) for about 1 hour. After that add the leeks, cabbage and macaroni and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Finally stir in the tomato purée, cook for another 10 minutes and, just before serving, stir in the parsley.

Serve in warmed soup bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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