Recipe: Menestrón

The Peruvians took the minestrone recipe, brought with the Italian migrants, and turned into it menestrón. The Peruvian version is heavier on the basil and almost never features tomatoes. It’s also big on the carbs, not only featuring beans (sometimes a few different kinds) but also pasta (often penne). I grew up loving my mum’s and aunty’s, and I crave it when it starts getting chilly in Sydney. I make my version with no beans nor pasta, and often use whatever veggies I have available. This time, for example, I couldn’t find turnip, so used radishes instead.

Peruvian osso buco
Yield: 4 servings
Adapted from this recipe



  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fat of choice (I used ghee)
  • 1 kg beef stew meat
  • 2 litres beef broth
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 turnip, coarsely chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 celery stick, coarsely chopped
  • 2 nicola potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat fat in a pot on low heat, cook garlic and onion for about 10 minutes, until very soft.
  2. Add meat, turn heat up and brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add carrots, turnip, leek, celery, potatoes and broth. Cook for about 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Add peas and green beans. Cook for another 15 minutes, turn off heat.
  5. Blend parsley and basil with a bit of broth, add to the soup, adjust seasoning and serve.

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