Life is a minestrone

Our last guests of the season  checked out this morning. The weather has turned cold and some rain showers have manifested themselves. Time to light the first fire of the year, turn the clock back to 1975 and get inspired by an old 10cc classic.

"Life is a minestrone
Served up with parmesan cheese
Death is a cold Lasagne
Suspended in deep freeze "

I make a hearty main course soup for lunch!!!


1/4 cup olive oil
60g unsalted butter
4 carrots peeled and finely diced
4 celery stalks, finely diced
3 medium onions, finely minced
800g tin  Cirio chopped tomatoes or 12 large, ripe, fresh Roma or San Marzano tomatoes,
peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
6 basil leaves (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy nonreactive pan. Cook the carrots, celery, and onions for about 20 minutes, or until very tender. As a time saving device I chop these 3 ingredients 
in the food processor all together. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up a bit with a wooden spoon, and continue cooking over a moderate heat for a further 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley and basil, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with grated parmesan and good crusty bread.

Please forgive the fact that I have posted this tip before on a previous blog, but it  is particularly relevant to this recipe.
When using tinned tomatoes ( Cirio only please ) and the recipe requires chopped tomatoes, but you only have the whole peeled variety on your larder shelf, don´t despair. Open the tin, insert a pair of long culinary scissors into the tin and cut the tomatoes vigorously.
Turn the contents out into your cooking vessel and Pronto - chopped tomatoes!!!
and you´ve saved money too. Tinned chopped tomatoes are dearer.

When making this soup, if you have a piece of parmesan rind in the fridge add this to the soup when you are cooking it and discard before serving....a taste sensation.


  1. I love Minestrone Soup reminds me of the first time I went to an Italian restaurant in the 70's.That and Pizza Calzone.. and my friend who ordered mussels and promptly necked the finger bowl thinking it was a complimentary drink..well with the slice of lemon it was an easy mistake to make!
    Great tip with the Parmesan rind BTW.

  2. this is one of my favourite soups and i'm so glad to have a new version from you x


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