Cooking Demonstration by Chef David Frattini

At last month’s Agency Conference, our agencies got a sneak peek at some of the exciting new ideas we will be exploring with our partner Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
In last session of the day, Chef David Frattini cooked up a wonderfully healthy and easy minestrone soup. He did a great job of incorporating ingredients that are regularly donated to the Foodbank like dry pasta, canned tomatoes and beans with fresh vegetables that Foodbank staff work to secure from across the country.

Thank you to the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and Chef Frattini for coming out to do this demonstration for our agencies to share with their clients. We’re on a mission at the Foodbank to bring in more fresh fruits and vegetables that can be combined with shelf-stable donations to make healthy meals for those in need.

We look forward to sharing more of great recipes and proper cooking techniques with our agencies and clients soon!

Live Cooking Demonstration by Chef David Frattini, CFSE

Print PDF of Recipe

Minestrone Soup

Yield:  24 eight-ounce servings 
Preparation Time
:  50 minutes


4 Fluid Ounces Vegetable Oil
1 Pound Yellow Onion, Small Dice
8 ounces Celery, Small Dice
8 Ounces  Carrot, Small Dice
2 Teaspoons  Garlic, Minced
8 ounces Green Cabbage, Julienne
8 Ounces  Zucchini, Medium Dice
8 Ounces  Yellow Squash, Medium Dice
1 Pound  Canned Tomatoes, Diced With Juice
5 Quarts Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
6 Ounces   Dried Pasta, Such As Macaroni or Orzo
1 ½ Pounds Canned White Beans
Cooked, Drained, and Rinsed
½ Cup  Fresh Basil, Chiffonade
To Taste Salt
To Taste Pepper
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Loaves Baguette, Bias Cut, ½-inch Thick Slices
½ Cup Olive Oil
4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Whole
To Taste Salt
To Taste Pepper


  1. For best quality, precook the dried pasta.  Bring a medium sauce pot with salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta until just tender.  Drain pasta, rinse under cool water to stop the cooking, and immediately toss with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil so it does not stick together.  Reserve cooked pasta until Step 8. 
  2. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. 
  3. Add yellow onion, celery, and carrot.  Sweat the vegetables until tender.  Add garlic.  Cook until garlic aroma is present. 
  4. Add cabbage.  Sweat cabbage until soft. 
  5. Add zucchini and yellow squash.  Gently cook squash until just tender. 
  6. Add tomatoes and their juice and the chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock to preserve as a vegetarian soup). 
  7. Bring the soup to a simmer.  Make sure the beans are rinsed and well drained.  Add beans to the soup and return to a simmer. 
  8. Add the cooked pasta from Step 1. 
  9. Add the fresh basil and return soup to a simmer. 
  10. Check and adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.   Hold soup warm for service. 
  11. Prepare baguette crostini.  Preheat chargrill.  Lightly brush one side of each baguette slice with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.  Lightly grill each slice of baguette by placing oiled side down on the grate first.  Achieve grill marks and lightly toast.  As soon as the crostini are removed from the grill, rub the warm crostini with the whole garlic clove.  Hold crostini warm for service. 
  12. Plate soup for service using one 8-ounce ladle per bowl.  Top each bowl with grated parmesan and stand two crostini in each bowl with one end above the level of the soup for easy grabbing.  Enjoy!

Allison Jones

Allison Jones is theGraphic and Web Design Coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.


Related Articles