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    Corsican Minestra

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    Corsican Minestra

    This soup says an awful lot about the food of its French island home. It’s a romantic dish, full of the smoky flavour of mountain ham and the herbs of the maquis, the dense shrub that covers much of the island. Smoked ham hock and gammon are decent substitutes for air-dried, Corsican ham.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 80 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes 60 minutes 50 minutes

    Serves: 10


    • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
    • 1 Large onion, chopped
    • 5 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    • 1 Leek, cleaned and cut into evenly sized pieces
    • 250g Dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight in cold water
    • 450g Waxy potatoes such as Charlotte, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
    • 250g Carrots, peeled, cut into 1cm dice
    • 2 Celery sticks, cut into 1cm dice
    • 1 Slicing tomato, skinned and chopped
    • 1 Rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
    • ½ tsp Dried oregano
    • 1.2kg Smoked ham hock or 1kg smoked gammon, cubed
    • 250g Green beans, trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces
    • 2 Courgettes, cut into 1cm dice
    • 500g Green cabbage, core removed and thinly sliced
    • 75g Dried tagliatelle, broken into 5cm pieces
    • 1 tbsp Chopped fresh oregano
    • 10g Flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped


    1. Heat the oil in a really large pan, add the onion, garlic and leek, and cook gently for 3–4 minutes. Drain the soaked beans and add to the pan with the potatoes, carrots, celery, tomato, rosemary, dried oregano and 2 litres water. Add the ham hock or gammon to the pan and press the pieces down into the soup so they are totally submerged. Bring everything to a simmer and leave to cook, uncovered, for 1 hour.
    2. Add the green beans, courgettes, cabbage, tagliatelle and fresh oregano and simmer for a further 15–20 minutes until the soup is thick. If using ham hock, remove the pieces, pull the meat off the bone and tear it into small chunks. Discard the skin and bone and stir the ham back into the soup. Add the parsley and up to 500ml hot water to loosen it slightly. Season with pepper. Serve in large, warmed soup bowls, drizzled with a little more olive oil.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The Corker recommends - A classic Portuguese red with the vigour and exuberance to take on the mother of all soups.


    Average user rating

    5 stars