Minestrone Genovese

Serves 4

1 hr 45 min to cook



  • 100ml fruity olive oil

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 large carrot, diced

  • 2 sticks celery, diced

  • 1 medium leek, diced

  • 1.5 litres water

  • 400g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained

  • 3 bunches of leafy winter greens

(eg, cavolo nero, silverbeet, chicory or cime di rapa), picked, washed

and sliced into 1cm strips

  • 2 pieces parmesan rind, each about the size of your thumb

  • 100g short pasta, risoni or ditalini are ideal

  • Sea salt and pepper


  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 tbsp pine nuts

  • Sea salt

  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked

  • 100ml fruity olive oil

  • 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat for a minute, then add onion, carrot, celery and leek.

Cook about 10 minutes to soften vegetables, but do not let them colour.

Add water and beans; bring to a simmer.

Add shredded greens and stir until wilted. Add Parmesan rinds and simmer slowly for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make pesto: Preferably in a mortar and pestle, otherwise a food processor,

make a puree by pounding together the garlic, pine nuts and a pinch of sea salt.

Add basil to form a paste, then fold in olive oil and parmesan. Season to taste.

After soup has cooked for 1 hour, add pasta and cook a further 15 minutes.

Season well with salt and pepper. If soup is very thick, add a glass of hot water.

Divide among 4 bowls and stir a tablespoon of pesto through each.

Serve immediately.


Recipes by Neil Perry, Qantas Creative Director - Food, Beverage & Service and Richard Purdue of Rosetta Sydney. Photography by Brent Winstone and styling by Vivien Walsh.

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