Minestrone Verde

The ideal soup recipe for a cold day. This minestrone verde from My Simple Italian features a medley of celery, Swiss chard, borlotti beans and fresh basil.


A delicious soup, this is a meal in itself and is also very healthy, It’s perfect for a cold day when not much is fresh in season.

Serves 6 as a starter
Cook time: 1 h 10 min


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 celery sticks, finely chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1kg Swiss chard
1 x 400g jar or can borlotti beans, drained (rinse if canned)
5 basil leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fruity olive oil, to serve


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the celery, onion, carrots and garlic and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.

Tip in the tomatoes and stir, then cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Meanwhile, remove the Swiss chard leaves from the stalks. Finely chop the stalks; keep the leaves whole. Blanch the leaves in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 3 minutes until tender. Remove with tongs to a colander to drain, then roughly chop and set aside.

Add the chopped stalks to the pan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes until tender; drain well in the colander set over a bowl (reserve the blanching water). Set the stalks aside.

Add the borlotti beans to the tomato mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes before pouring in 400ml of the chard blanching water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chard leaves and stalks along with the basil. Season with salt and pepper If you want a smoother soup, blitz it for 10 seconds using a hand blender - this will give you a creamy but still chunky consistency. Serve the soup hot, with a good dash of fruity olive oil added to each bowl.

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