minestrone soup

summer minestrone with brown rice

14th August 2011


Inspired by Heidi Swanson’s  ‘Supernatural Cooking’

In her version, it is called ‘Spring Minestrone’ and she uses onions, snow peas and asparagus.  My version is inspired by Summer and what is abundant in my garden.  With a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, a crackling of fresh pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, it is so satisfying. Serve it with sourdough toast and a big bowl of guacamole to satisfy the other smaller members of the family.

This soup can be adjusted to any seasonal vegetables. The brown rice is magical and creates a creamy, natural, soothing and nourishing soup!  I used small round, brown rice as I love how it forms into little soft stars at the end of the simmering.


Warm days, a little cloudy with a gentle breeze.


summer minestrone with brown rice

Serves 4

Deeply nourishing and soothing. If you don’t have vegetable stock on hand, replace with water and add the end off a block of parmesan for extra flavour.


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup round brown rice, rinsed

1 fresh bay leaf

7 cups vegetable stock

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

2 baby zucchini, cut into rounds

1 carrot, peeled and cut in diagonals

handful green beans, cut in diagonals or handful of broccoli

a few kale leaves, finely shredded

finely chopped fresh dill, parsley or coriander

salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper, lots


1.  Heat olive oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan, add rice, bay leaf and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

2.  Pour in vegetable stock and bring to boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3.  Add celery, carrots and simmer until rice is tender, about 35 – 45 minutes.

4.  Add green beans/broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes.

5.  Add finely shredded kale, fresh coriander, dill or parsley, salt and pepper to taste – simmer for 2 – 3 minutes and serve immediately – this way the vegetables stay crisp and bright.

When serving, drizzle with olive oil, grated parmesan, a sprinkle of lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


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