From Sardinia enjoy Bean, Wild Fennel and Potato Soup (Minestra di Fagioli, Finocchetto e Patate)

Today we want to offer a Sardinian recipe, an authentic dish coming from the “cucina povera“: a magnificent soup, really tasty and of course very filling. Soups in winter time are really spread in Italy and the main ingredients are beans or legumes such as lentils, peas and green beans, and if you think they are boring, just have a look to the exciting result you can have fom such a simpl mixture of ingredients!!!! Here for example the twist in the flavour is given by the wild fennel, the “secret” ingredients: you need to serve the fronds and the tasty leaves, not the bulb fennel.


  • 300 g beans
  • 300 g wild fennel fronds
  • 250 g potatoes
  • 225 g plum tomatoes
  • 150 g dry short pasta like cannellini or ditalini
  • 100 g slice of pig rind
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Sardo or a mixture of Pecorino Romano and Parmisan
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the fennel fronds, pad them with a clean cloth until dry, and chop them in little pieces.
  2. Peel and dice the potatoes.
  3. In the while blanch, peel, seed, chop, and drain the tomatoes.
  4. Heat the oil in a soup pot, stir-fry the tomatoes for a minute. When they begin to wilt, add straight away the beans, the fennel fronds, the potatoes pieces, and pig rind. Add from 2 up to 2.5 l. of water.
  5. Cover and simmer the soup for at least two hours.
  6. Remove the pig rind, season, and  stir in the pasta.
  7. Continue to simmer, mixing  occasionally to avoid the pasta stick and burn.
  8. Serve with grated cheese you have chosen.

A variation: iyou can also use 100 g. dried tomatoes. Put it in warm water and then finely chopped before adding it to the soup.

Total Time: 2 hours and 50 minutes


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