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Main Dish
105 min

Minestrone à la Toscana

I discovered this dish while I was in Italy in Tuscany. I was totally surprised since I expected a classic minestrone soup. Now since minestrone means vegetable soup, I wasn't far off :-) Only this was more of a stew, cooked for many hours, and a specific nutmeg taste. It also contained a lot more local vegetables. The scent brought me back to my childhood, see my other related recipe Grandma's carrots.

Nutritional information

Nutritional information per portion
Calories 360
Carbs 35g
Fat 22g
Protein 10g

Ingredients for 2 portions


3 Pieces


1 Twig

White beans

150 Grams


1 Pinch


2 Pieces


1 Mespunt


1 Mespunt


1 Piece

Recipe instructions

Pan-fry the onions with the herbs

We start of the same way we prepared grandma's carrots. We let the onion evaporate some of its fluids in the butter, and we add the herbs (rosemary, tyme, laurel) so they can release their full flavour in the juices.

Add the greens

After 5 minutes, you can add the greens. (celery, carrots, zucchini and red canned beans). I use canned red beans for the nice colour. 

Add chicken stock

I sometimes add a bit of salted bacon to complement the chicken stock. Just add 200g in one piece of salted bacon. If you have no fresh chicken stock, like I did (I normally have some frozen but I ran out), you can use a stock cube instead. I know it's a bit more salty and contains some MSG (flavour enhancer), but it gives it a nice umami taste. Now add some white pepper, no salt (you can add some later when it's all cooked, you might overdo it with the stock cube), some ground nutmeg (I like to add a lot, it will give it its distinctive taste), and some fresh parsley leaves. Add the cut potatoes (don't use starchy ones). Fill your caserole with warm water and close the lid. 

Let is simmer with closed lid first

Let it simmer with the lid closed for about 45 minutes on a low gas mark. You can now stir everything with a spoon. I would suggest cooking it for half an hour more, if you have the time, even 1 hour on a very low gas mark. Don't forget to close the lid again. This will make sure all those tastes will stay in there.


Remember, the longer you can get this to simmer on a low gas mark (so the vegetables don't desintegrate), the better this will taste. You can add some salt of necessary. Time to scoop it in a plate. Ideal to serve on a hot summer's day!


If you're going to use fresh beans, fresh ones take at least 12 hours to soak in salted water. The salt makes their skin soft + if you use fresh beans, you always need to cook them on a very low temperature or they will explode when cooking!. If you're not able to lower your gas mark enough so the temp will stay just around boiling point, place your pot (preferably a Creuset, Staub or other) in the oven on 100°C. The heat will be distributed much better!


If you sauté your carrots in brown butter first (brown butter is clarified normal butter turned brown through heating in a skillet, it gets a nutty flavour), even add some garlic (I don't use garlic in the minestrone because of the strong taste), your recipe will get this buttery sweet carrot flavour!


TRY OUT MY SPANISH VERSION : onion, garlic, red bell pepper, carrots, laurel, some sobrasada (to be replaced with a very small piece of chorizo if not available), a small amount of curry powder, chicken stock, pepper, salt, paprika powder, some tomato purée, a very small amount of sugar or honey, a pinch of saffron, potatoes and some diced chicken meat. The sweetness with the saffron makes this absolutely irresistible!!

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