Soup with vegetables and pancetta

Today i’m making soup, a sort of minestrone with a sort of pistou. I did look up some recipes in my soup recipe book and did use it as inspiration. This is what i picked out today. It will last me for four days, at least.

I bought most of the ingredients today. Some i already had. Some i forgot! Like the parmesan cheese for the pistou. But i do think i can manage without.


Already in house:

  • 1/3 celeriac
  • a couple of inner stems of celery
  • 500 g of Roseval potatoes (any waxy potatoe will do)
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • half an onion
  • rosemary
  • olive oil
  • chicken broth cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • some cashew nuts

Bought on the market:

  • large carrot
  • 4 tomatoes
  • courgette (zucchini)
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 1 leek
  • cabbage
  • basil
  • sage
  • Orzo pasta (in the shape of large grains of rice)

Bought in Little Italy, the italian shop close to the market:

  • 200 g pancetta in two thick pieces
  • tin of borlotti beans


Making the soup

  1. cut the pancetta in small pieces and bake them in a large soup pan
  2. boil a full pot of water (cook around 1.5 liters)
  3. cut the celeriac, celery, potatoes, onion, carrot and leek in bitesize bits
  4. get the pancetta out of the pan and put aside
  5. put in the vegetables in the pan, add some olive oil, put the fire low
  6. leave for half an hour

Making the pistou
I made the pistou with my hand blender, you can make it by hand if you wish.

  1. pick all the basil leaves and put them in the blender pot
  2. use two cloves of garlic
  3. and i decided to put in some cashew nuts, to replace the cheese
  4. blend!
  5. put in a small plastic thing, so you can save it for the next days


Continue with making the soup

  1. To be honest, after 15 minutes i sliced the fennel and put it in the soup
  2. cut the leaves of the fennel and added it
  3. sliced a few cloves of garlic and added these
  4. cut and added the sage
  5. put in the hot water and the two chicken broth cubes
  6. sliced the courgette half a centimeter wide and put it in the soup as well
  7. added back the pancetta
  8. removed the pit of the tomatoes and put in a small cross at the other end
  9. in the meantime i had boiled some more water
  10. added the tomatoes to the hot water and left them in for like 30 seconds
  11. after i took them out, i skinned the tomatoes, sliced them into quarters and then in smaller bits, added the tomato pieces
  12. opened the tin of beans, washed them and added them
  13. decided then i wouldn’t use the pasta, since the soup was already very full
  14. did use 1/3 of the cabbage though, sliced it fine and added it
  15. added a fair bit of salt and pepper
  16. let the soup simmer for 15 minutes
  17. a bit of a taste to see if anything was missing, but no! it tasted lovely herby and savoury


After this i put the fire out and poured myself a large deep plate of soup with a bit of the pistou over it. Lovely!

This recipe can be adjusted to most of the vegetables you have in house or are able to get cheaply. The pancetta you can replace with bacon, sausages or chorizo. You can also use other herbs, like tarragon or parsley. And please, try it with the cheese, it’s lovely! It’s a great soup for winter, with many vegetables, lots of herbs and a bit of meat for taste.

Published on February 11, 2015 at 6:00 by

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