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Recipe for :

Minestrone alla Milanese

This recipe was sent to me by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration to me when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risottos over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.

Shirely says: "This is a good hearty soup".


1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped leek, white and light green parts
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups finely chopped carrots
2 cups finely chopped cabbage (preferably Savoy)
1 cup green beans cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2 cups of 1/2" cubes of peeled boiling potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped prosciutto (found in deli)
1 cup of 1/2" cubes of unpeeled zucchini
1 cup chopped rinsed fresh stemmed spinach
2/3 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup rice (preferably short grain Arborio)
2 cups cooked dried (or canned) cannelini beans
1 Tblsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried
2 Tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan for garnish


  • In a large stock or soup pot, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrots, cabbage, green beans and potatoes and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the prosciutto, zucchini, spinach, tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Add the rice and beans, and simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove the soup from the heat.
  • In a small skillet sauté the rosemary in the olive oil for 30 seconds.
  • Add this to the soup along with the parsley and cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
  • Garnish with more cheese if desired.

Serves 8

Shirley Cline