A bowl and saucepan filled with fennel & pancetta minestrone

Fennel & pancetta minestrone

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(1 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 2

Make this minestrone soup with pancetta, macaroni, fennel and peas for a hearty lunch or easy midweek dinner. Serve with pesto and crusty bread

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal517
  • fat22g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre14g
  • protein21g
  • salt1.7g
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  • 77g pack smoked pancetta lardons



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • small bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 2 fennel bulbs, halved lengthways and sliced, fronds reserved to serve
    Fennel bulb

    Fennel bulb

    Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate – its strong aniseed…

  • 1l low-salt chicken stock
  • 100g macaroni (or another small pasta)
  • 100g frozen peas



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • 2 tbsp pesto, to serve



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


  • crusty bread, to serve


  1. Dry-fry the lardons for 7-10 mins or until they begin to release their oils. Add the spring onions and cook gently for 5 mins or until softened, then add the garlic and fennel seeds, and cook for a few mins more. Add the fennel, cook for a few mins, then pour in the stock and 500ml water.

  2. Simmer for 5 mins, then drop in the pasta and bring to the boil. Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then tip in the peas, cook for 2 mins more and season to taste. Divide between two bowls and top each with a dollop of pesto and some fennel fronds. Serve with crusty bread.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
24th Jun, 2018
This looks lovely, but I'm afraid I'm at a loss regarding the quantity of liquid. Is it really 1.5l (1l of stock + 0.5l of water)? I know this is supposed to be "brothy", but this seems really a lot to me for 2 servings (actually 1 fennel bulb per person sounds a lot too... unless they are tiny ones, but I've never seen any smaller than my fist). Thanks in advance for your help.
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