Fast Recipes

Sausage, cavolo nero and chickpea minestrone

Minestrone needn't take hours of your time to prepare. This version uses a few tasty shortcuts to condense the cooking time but not the flavour.

By Max Adey
  • Serves 4
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
Sausage, cavolo nero and chickpea minestrone

This classic Italian soup spiced up with pork and fennel sausages is full of flavour, moreish and nourishing all in one. Consider making a double batch and have it for lunch the next day.


  • 80 ml olive oil (⅓ cup)
  • 250 gm pork and fennel sausages, casings removed, filling crumbled
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock (4 cups)
  • 400 gm canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 400 gm canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 80 gm soup pasta, such as risoni or stelline
  • ½ bunch cavolo nero, stalks removed, leaves coarsely chopped
  • Finely grated parmesan and sourdough bread, to serve


  • 1
    Heat 50ml olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add sausage and fry until browned (5-7 minutes), adding fennel seeds and chilli in the last minute of cooking.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, sauté celery, onion, carrot and garlic in remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and light golden (5-7 minutes). Add to sausage along with stock, tomatoes and rosemary, season to taste, bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add chickpeas and pasta, stir to stop pasta sticking together, and simmer until pasta is al dente (5-6 minutes), adding cavolo nero in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  • 3
    Season to taste, divide among bowls, scatter with parmesan and serve with sourdough bread.