Dinner Italian winter warmers

Hearty Beef Minestrone

I “invented”  this Minestrone recipe during the winter because my Hubby wanted to have a “hearty beef soup” but at this moment, no matter how much my out of season flu is craving it, I just can’t imagine being in front of the stove making this dish under a 20 and lot (almost 86F) Celsius weather.

So, this one goes to my Northern Hemisphere readers. 

It is such a filling, healthy dish and an awesome way of using bits and pieces of vegetable, and veggies that are no longer so fresh – a pretty cheap way of feeding well your family.

Enjoy it!
x Rachel

Hearty Beef Minestrone
Serves: 6-8 Cost:$ | Difficulty:  Medium| Time: 3h
Author: a classic by Rachel Elich


  • 500g Beef stew meat, no bones,trimmed, cut into small cubes
  • 50g Diced bacon
  • 1 Large onion chopped
  • 3 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 Red capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Carrot cut in three pieces
  • 1 Stick celery chopped
  • 1 Small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 Large tomato finely diced
  • 1 Can (400g) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 Purple Cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Macaroni
  • 1l Beef Stock, low sodium or no salt.  Check out our recipe for Homemade Beef Stock
  • 1/2l water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Cheesecloth bag of herbs: 3 bay leaves, about 5 sage leaves, a small rosemary sprig, a small thyme sprig, a tablespoon of dill, one star anise – you can replace the herbs to your taste.
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Calabrese chili (Dried chili)
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley chopped
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shaved Parmesan to serve (Optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Olive Oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Heat the Olive oil in a large oven proof pot over medium heat. 
  3. Brown the beef in two batches for 2-3 minutes. Set aside. 
  4. Stir in the bacon and fry it until it starts to brown. 
  5. Sauté the onion and garlic in the bacon fat.
  6. Stir in the celery and chilli
  7. Add the beef stock, the water, the cheesecloth with the herbs, the carrot cut in three pieces and the chili.
  8. Bring to boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender (that will depend on the quality of the meat – it might be around 1-1:30 hours).
  9. Return the pot to the stove top, discard the carrot and the herb bag. 
  10. Taste the broth and reduce it or add more water to your taste. 
  11. Bring it to boil, stir in the tomatoes, the carrots, the capsicum and the macaroni – cook for about 10
  12. Stir in the zucchini and the beans. 
  13. When the pasta is cooked to your liking, stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple of minutes.
  14. Turn off the heat. Put the lid on and leave it for a couple of minutes. 
  15. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. Add more salt and pepper to your taste.
  16. Serve with Parmesan Cheese shaved on the top and some pan toasted Ciabatta bread.

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