Minestrone alla milanese soup

As a proud Milanese, I have to say that our cuisine is seriously underrated. I feel like Milanese cuisine deserves a place in the culinary hall of fame, with its iconic recipes (risotto alla milanese, ossobuco, mondeghili, …). A dish that is very attached to its territory is Minestrone alla Milanese. 

The origins of minestrone can be traced back to 1839 when it was first defined in a Milanese-Italian dictionary by Francesco Cherubini, a literary giant of his time. Here we find its first definition which includes the ingredients we still use today – we Italians are tradition keepers and I love that. 

Minestrone translates to “big soup”, which makes total sense if we think that it uses the available vegetables during the current season. It’s a hearty, nutritious dish that will surprise you because very rich in flavor. The presence of lard and pig skin (don’t worry, the latter is just for taste and won’t be served to you) give this soup a very round and incredible flavor. It will have you coming back for seconds!

Maybe it’s time for minestrone to become the next big food trend – we Milanese have been enjoying it for centuries, after all!

Minestrone alla milanese

Nicole Vittoria
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 8 people


  • 4 carrots
  • A bunch of green celery
  • A bunch of sage
  • 300 gr onions
  • 3 medium-sized potatoes
  • 300 gr fresh borlotti beans or 100 gr. dried beans soaked in cold water overnight
  • 50 gr lard
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a bunch of parsley
  • 200 gr pork rind
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tomato sauce
  • 1 cabbage
  • 300 gr rice (look for "Vialone" if you can find it)
  • grated grana padano or parmigiano reggiano


  • Mince the lard along with the garlic and the parsley to create a flavor packed cream.
  • In a large pot, combine all the chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, onions) with the beans, the sage, the lard paste and the pork rind and cover with plenty of cold water.
  • Let it cook for 3 hours, then add the thinly sliced cabbage and cook for 40 minutes.
  • After simmering the ingredients for 3 hours and 40 minutes, it's time to add the rice and let it cook for an additional 20 minutes. The magic of the minestrone comes from its slow cooking process, which should take a total of 4 hours. So sit back, relax, and let the flavors develop into this delicious soup!
  • At the end of the cooking time add a teaspoon of tomato sauce to give the recipe an acidic kick. This small addition will perfectly balance the flavors of the minestrone and bring out the best in each ingredient. Trust me, it's a game-changer.
  • To truly honor the Lombardia region serve your minestrone with grated Grana Padano cheese. Of course, you can also opt for Parmigiano Reggiano. Either way, the rich and nutty flavors of the cheese will complement the minestrone perfectly. So go ahead and indulge in a bowl of pure Italian goodness 😉
  • As always, enjoy and Buon Appetitooooo

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