Authentic Italian family minestrone recipe with modern twist

Minestrone soup


Posted October 31, 2023

RACV Executive Chef Jason Camillo's modern version of minestrone is inspired by the flavours and smells of his Nonna's kitchen.

Among this year’s exclusive events at RACV Club, the augural Four Chef Showdown at City Club stands out as a particularly fun-filled night.

Three RACV City Club chefs – Jason Camillo, Craig Dowling, and Josh Cochrane – battled it out with Himanshu Sharda, the Head Chef at Healesville Country Club & Resort, to win the audience over with the most popular dish.

Camillo, who has cooked for Queen Elizabeth II, former tennis superstar Andy Roddick, and former US President, Bill Clinton, drew on his culinary roots to create a modern and sophisticated version of his Nonna’s classic soup.

“My Nonna grew up in Friuli, very close to the Dolomites, and made this particular style of minestrone, using a white chicken stock base and any ingredients that could be found close by,” Camillo says. “Everything was systematically put in a pot in order of cooking times and the potato was cooked until it was very soft, which helped the soup thicken and make it heartier and warming, especially in the snowy winters."

Chef demonstrating recipe

RACV City Club Executive Chef Jason Camillo prepares his dish in front of a live audience at the Four Chef Showdown event. Image: Matt Harvey

Modern twist on old favourite

Camillo has taken the flavours and the ingredients and refined this soup to make it a clear broth, using a pork hock to naturally thicken the liquid with the gelatine in the bones.  

“This modern version is suitable for a fine dining restaurant, but it still takes me back to my Nonna’s kitchen, with the flavours and the smells it produces.”

For RACV Club Members and their guests, the Four Chef Showdown was a chance to see four superb dishes being created on stage, learn the culinary secrets behind their success, and then sample each dish as part of a four-course meal. Himanshu Sharda’s fish curry was named the crowd favourite.

Nonna Camillo’s minestrone recipe



Time to make

60 minutes




  • 200g fresh borlotti beans
  • 8g diced celery (5mm)
  • 200g diced potato (5mm)
  • 800ml white chicken stock      
  • 1 pork hock (double smoked)
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove finely diced
  • 15ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g cacciatore sausage (aged 6 months) diced 5mm
  • 100g risoni pasta
  • 1  sheet gold leaf (optional)


  1. In a large pot sauté the celery, onion, and garlic with olive oil. Add cacciatore and cook until onion is transparent and cacciatore is aromatic.
  2. Add chicken stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and gently simmer. Add the pork stock and cook gently for two hours.
  3. Skim off the fat particles that rise to the surface with a ladle.
  4. Remove the pork hock and shred the meat off the bone while it is still warm. Reserve the meat and discard the bones and skin.
  5. To the stock, add borlotti beans and potato and cook till tender.
  6. Add the risoni to the stock and cook till al dente.
  7. Strain the stock and distribute the beans, potato, risoni, and shredded pork hock between four warmed bowls.
  8. For a sophisticated touch, gently place a small amount of gold leaf on each pile of beans and potato.
  9. Pour stock over the beans and potato, followed by a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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