There are a million different variations of Minestrone soup, but they all share the same cosiness that is perfect to warm you up on a cold day. This is my favourite combination of vegetables, but you can add or subtract anything you wish, and run with whatever is in season. I also love chopping the veg to about a 1cm dice, just because I can get lots of different flavours in each spoonful, but if you’re in a hurry, you could always chuck them all in a food processor and chop or grate that way… it’s all about how many veggies I can get in, really!
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced (about 1cm)
4 rashers bacon, diced (about 1cm), optional
2 sticks celery, diced (about 1cm)
2 carrots, diced (about 1cm)
1 large potato, diced (about 1cm)
Small handful green beans, chopped (about 1cm)
1 large zucchini, diced (about 1cm)
4-5 Brussels sprouts, thinly shredded
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1L chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup small pasta, optional
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 handfuls dark leafy greens (e.g. baby spinach, finely shredded kale or cavolo nero)
Salt + pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over low heat and add the onion, bacon, celery and carrots. Stir occasionally until the onion is translucent.
- Add the potato, beans, zucchini, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the tomatoes start to fry a little (just as the cooking sounds go to a crackle). Add the beans, stock and pasta and allow to simmer until the pasta us just cooked and the vegetables are tender.
- Add the garlic and leafy greens and cook for a further 2 minutes until the greens are wilted.
- Have a taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with a dollop if pesto or a sprinkle of parmesan or nutritional yeast and some of our Spinach, Haloumi and Pesto Scrolls.
If you’re after a vegetarian soup, omit the bacon, or swap for a tablespoon of wakame flakes when you add the stock for extra flavour and minerals, and use your favourite vegetable stock.
You can use any beans, lentils or legumes, and if you like, you could add some tofu or leftover chicken for some added protein.
If you’re using pasta, I like using the small shapes for the same reason I cut the veggies small. You can swap for a gluten free pasta, or a pulse based pasta instead if you prefer.