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 cut the cooking time but not the flavour.

By Max Adey
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
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.