Riverford Wicked Leeks
Minestrone recipe image

Print Minestrone

A version for colder months, using root veg and cabbage. You could substitute the cabbage for kale or chard and use other beans and veg in the summer. If you have celery in your box and want a carnivorous version, make a more traditional minestrone base, ‘soffritto’, by frying off some chopped pancetta or streaky bacon, finely diced celery and onion before adding the other veg. Cooked beans (eg. haricot) can be added instead of the pasta, or mix the two.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled & finely diced
  • 1 leek cleaned, sliced lengthways & finely sliced
  • ½ small swede or 1 parsnip, peeled & finely diced
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1-1.2 litre veg stock
  • 1 tsp dried mixed Italian herb seasoning (or use a few chopped fresh oregano & basil leaves)
  • 60g dried orzo pasta (or other small pasta shape)
  • 150g cabbage, finely shredded (remove any tough ribs)
  • Small handful fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • A little Parmesan, grated, to serve
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cook on a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, leeks, swede, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, 1 litre stock, dried herbs (if using fresh herbs, add them at the end of the cooking time).
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the cabbage and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Add a little more stock to thin the soup if necessary and season. Add a little chopped parsley if using and a grating of Parmesan.
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