Rustic Tomato Minestrone

from Stacy Adimando

Mutti® Bolognese Sauce Salmorejo (Chilled Spanish Tomato Soup)
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This simple minestrone derives much of its flavor from fresh in-season vegetables; the best-quality tomatoes; and robust and fruity extra-virgin olive oil. Adding a piece of rind cut from Parmigiano Reggiano to the broth intensifies the soup’s savoriness and saltiness. If desired, you can substitute 4 cups of the water with some low-sodium chicken stock or add a pinch of fresh thyme or rosemary to the broth. Be sure not to skimp on the toppings like basil and grated cheese, which help add richness and layers of flavor to each bowl.


Watch Stacy prepare this dish in our Chefs. Home. Cooking. film series.


  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 (1/8-inch) slices pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Mutti® Double Concentrated Tomato Paste 
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 lb. cauliflower florets and delicate leaves, broken into small pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Mutti® Finely Chopped Tomatoes
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 large piece Parmigiano Reggiano rind, plus lots of freshly grated cheese for serving
  • ½ lb. white potatoes, peeled into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 medium zucchini, half of the skin peeled and discarded, flesh cut into ½ inch cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped savoy or Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shelled fresh or frozen sweet peas 
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup orecchiette, ditalini, or other small dried macaroni
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

How to prepare

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook about 6 minutes or until crispy and well browned, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. 
  2. Add the onion, garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and a little black pepper to the same pot with the pancetta fat and olive oil and cook about 3 minutes, or until onion is softened slightly and fragrant (but not browned), stirring occasionally. Stir in the Mutti® Double Concentrated Tomato Paste until incorporated. Add the carrots and cook about 3 minutes or until the tomato paste darkens slightly and the carrots soften ever so slightly, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cauliflower florets, Mutti® Finely Chopped Tomatoes, water, and the Parmigiano Reggiano rind and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the potatoes and season with an additional ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes or until the potato is tender but not mushy. Add the zucchini and cabbage and cook about 3 minutes, until softened but not soggy.  Stir in the pasta and cook about 9 minutes, until just tender, stirring occasionally. If needed, add a little more water to adjust the consistency (but soup should be chunky and not too brothy; too much water will dilute the flavor). Stir in the peas and spinach and cook about 2 minutes. Taste and season as desired with additional salt and pepper. 
  4. To serve, remove the cheese rind from the pot and discard. Divide the soup among shallow serving bowls. Garnish generously with extra-virgin olive oil and top with the reserved pancetta crumbles, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh basil leaves, and freshly grated black pepper. 

Stacy Adimando is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author whose writing and recipes have been published by NPR, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Vogue, and many other mediums. Meet Stacy through our Chefs. Home. Cooking. film series, and look for her newest cookbook Piatti: Plates and Platters for Sharing, Inspired by Italy at bookstores nationwide.