Mother's minestrone alla genovese

    1 hour 5 min

    This is a special recipe, straight from my beloved mother's golden hands. She made it often in spring and summer and, if the weather was warm, she'd serve it lukewarm or cool. I remember that she even offered it to a crowd, at one of my sisters' wedding. Its texture, colors, fragrance, appearance...everything in this dish speaks of her.

    13 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 1 bunch Swiss chard
    • 1kg fresh borlotti beans, or mixed beans
    • 3 or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
    • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
    • grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 3 waxy potatoes, sliced into cubes
    • 2 courgettes, sliced into cubes
    • 200g string beans cut in 3cm strips
    • 2 leeks, sliced into rounds
    • 1 package frozen petite peas
    • coarse salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • pesto
    • grated Parmigiano Reggiano™

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:15min resting  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Wash the chard well and separate the leaves from the stalks. Coarsely chop the stalks and cut the leaves in thin strips along the short side. Shell the beans.
    2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil slightly and add the onion, celery, carrots and chard stalks to soften. Add the lemon zest and cook for another 2-3 minutes until it releases its fragrance.
    3. Add the potateos and all the other vegetables, except the chard leaves. Add the clove and a good handful of salt.
    4. Barely cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but still have their shape. Add the chard leaves, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
    5. Adjust salt and pepper, sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and serve with the pesto and Parmesan cheese on the side.

    Using up your vegetables

    If you have veggies languishing in the refrigerator, this is a good recipe to throw them in and not waste them.


    This soup is even better after it's rested overnight.

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    Reviews in English (1)


    Wonderful vegetable soup, served it with parmesan, pesto (I think this is what makes this soup special), and focaccia. I used 2 cups small dry white beans, presoaked it for 2 hrs.  -  31 Jan 2014