Cooking Counts…Minestrone Faita-Style

acquacotta bean and minestrone soup

It is getting cooler and I am starting to feel like making soup again. How about you? Here is one of my old family favorites. You will review the names of 12 vegetables that are commonly used in cooking & I have also added a cooking vocabulary section that contains 7 cooking verbs. Read the recipe with your favorite trainer to review language and share your favorite recipes or book a 30-minute lesson with us to review cooking terms at .


5 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
150g leek, sliced
125g smoked pancetta, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 zucchinis, diced
2 potatoes, diced
2 tomatoes, seeds removed & diced
150g cannellini or borlotti beans, canned if out of  season
150g pumpkin, diced
150g peas, frozen
150g cabbage, sliced
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp basil, chopped
40g dried porcini, soaked and chopped
2 parmesan crusts
parmesan, grated (optional)
salt & pepper


  • heat olive oil in a big pot
  • add the pancetta onion , leek, carrots and celery
  • sauté until pancetta has browned
  • add the rest of the garden vegetables
  • sauté for a few minutes
  • add the basil, parsley and porcini to the mix
  • cover with water
  • season with salt and pepper
  • Cook for approximately 30 minutes
  • Add parmesan crusts
  • Let simmer for another 40 minutes
  • Serve with grated parmesan and drizzle olive oil  to taste


–       I use a pressure cooker because it is so much faster. If you do the same, then add the parmesan crusts with the porcini. Fill the pot with water but barely cover the veggies. Cook for 20 minutes after it starts whistling.

–       I normally serve my minestrone with  a grilled slice of old country bread. My son loves dipping day old baguette in his .

–       You can use  other veggies if the ones in this recipe are not to your liking. Cauliflower, spinach, fennel, swiss chard, sweet potato, celery root…it is all good.

–       Garden veggies are at their best in the summer months. They are cheaper and there is lots of variety. Trouble is my kids don’t like hot minestrone when it is scorching hot outside. When summer time comes around, I like serving minestrone at room temperature .

–       If your kids don’t like seeing chunky veggies, pop it in the blender and serve with crackers, soup noodles or rice, parmesan and olive oil…that normally does the trick. We should try to get our kids used to the taste of veggies at a very young age. A little sneaky creativity is allowed!

–       A table spoon of pesto at the very end can also liven up your minestrone if you don’t have a  12-veggie mix of ingredients.

–       Make a double batch and freeze the rest. We are hearty eaters in our family so I freeze 250g single portions. They are easier to thaw out.

–       If you are a vegetarian, just omit the pancetta. You may want to add another mushroom variety to give added flavor. a

Cooking Vocabulary

Heat: cause to become hot
Sauté:  fry in a small amount of fat
Simmer: boil at low heat
Chop: to cut into pieces by hitting it with a knife
Dice: to cut into little cubes
Slice: to cut something into thin pieces
Brown: to make brown by cooking especially for meat

You can share it if you like it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s