Winter minestrone with pesto croûtes

Winter minestrone with pesto croûtes

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(53 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4

Keep the winter out and warmth in with nutritious minestrone and pesto croûtes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal274
  • fat13g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs28g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre8g
  • protein13g
  • salt2.56g
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon
  • 2 large carrots, chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 sticks celery, chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 medium potato, chopped



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1l vegetable stock (from granules or a cube)
  • 2 tsp chopped sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried



    Popular in both Italian and British cookery, sage has long, grey-green leaves with a slightly…

  • few cabbage leaves, shredded



    The cabbage, or brassica, family is huge, and includes everything from the familiar red, white…

  • 400g can haricot bean
  • handful chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

For the pesto croutes

  • slices of crusty bread
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 tbsp pesto



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and lardons or bacon and fry for about 5 mins until the onion is starting to brown. Tip in the carrots, celery, potato and garlic, stir well and cook for a few minutes.

  2. Add the tomatoes, stock and sage, and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to simmer and cook partly covered for 30 mins, stirring in the cabbage after 15 mins. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan with the parsley. Season and serve with pesto croûtes, see right, or crusty bread.

  3. For the pesto croûtes: Cut 3-4 slices of crusty bread into chunks, about 2cm thick. Tip into an ovenproof pan. Mix the olive oil and pesto, then add to the bread, tossing it with your hands until the croûtes are evenly coated. Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 mins until crisp.

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Comments, questions and tips

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9th Sep, 2011
Delicious and bags of flavour!
10th May, 2011
I made a few changes to this soup but it turned out really well so I thought that i'd share them with everyone. Firstly I seasoned well and added a pinch of chilli flakes to give it a bit of a kick. I also roughly blended half of the mixture before adding the beans to thicken it up a bit and added some conchigliette pasta which made it wonderfully tasty and filling. I also left out the bacon because I wanted a veggie option. I would highly recommend!
19th Mar, 2011
this is my favourite winter soup/stew recipe, and even if youre short of a couple of ingredients it doesnt matter - it still tastes great, and many of them are interchangabel with other vegetables such as sweet potato, kidney beans etc.
14th Feb, 2011
This was a great soup for all the family. My children loved the pesto croutes.
22nd Jan, 2011
Really tasty, loved the hint of bacon but not so sure about the shredded cabbage !
9th Jan, 2011
Excellent soup, a big bacth of which kept us going for a couple of days when we were snow bound!
9th Dec, 2010
I forgot the garlic (!?), and took took half the mix out - blended - and put it back in again. tried doing the croutons with anchovy pesto (it was on offer) - it was awesome. will def do it again (maybe with garlic this time)!
5th Dec, 2010
Very tasty soup. Everyone loved it!
20th Nov, 2010
Ah, what a great smell in the house tonight :)I'm making this for my parents (lentil soup lovers) as their cooker's broke. I know they're gonna love it along with the croutons. I kept the smokey bacon slices whole and took them out when done and chopped them up to add with croutons when serving, warmed and sprinkled with parmeasan. I put a big spoonful of sundried tomato pesto into soup a big squirt of tomato puree, some broken spaggetti then pureed about 4 ladel fulls of the veg from the bottom. This helped give it a bit more depth. I used the sundried pesto on the croutons with some garlic salt. Many thanks for a great, repeatable recipe Ireland
4th Nov, 2010
delicious delicious delicious! I changed the recipe a little to suit our tastes and my diet! I swapped the potato for swede and didnt add any bacon or the haricot beans! I also didnt have any cabbage so added green beans instead! The soup was thick, filling and nutritious! Will certainly be making it again!


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