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    Minestrone with Parmesan Rind

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    Minestrone with Parmesan Rind

    The heat of cooking softens the Parmesan rind, which will partially melt, thickening the soup and adding a strong, salty undercurrent of flavour.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 60 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 1 red onion, chopped
    • 4 celery sticks, finely chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tsp tomato purée
    • 400g tin peeled plum tomatoes, crushed with a spoon
    • 1.2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
    • 410g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 parmesan rind, plus extra freshly grated Parmesan to serve
    • 150g cavolo nero or spring greens, shredded
    • 100g dried spaghetti, broken into 4cm lengths


    1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan, then add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic. Cover and sweat slowly over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.
    2. Add the parsley, tomato purée and tinned tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and borlotti beans and bring to the boil. Add the Parmesan rind and cavolo nero and simmer for 20 minutes.
    3. Add the spaghetti and cook for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions suggest (by the time you serve the soup, it will be perfectly cooked). Taste and season.
    4. Remove the rind, divide the soup between 6 bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

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