Minestrone Soup Recipe
We used to have this as a ‘light’ lunch (I say with a little irony as it’s extremely filling!) It’s a good way of using up any leftover root vegetables and will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. It’s chunky and can be adjusted to taste. If you’d like to add in a tin of mixed beans and a little chilli you can do (you’ll end up with chilli bean soup but the idea is pretty much the same thing!)
- A knob of butter or margarine
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 individual stick of celery, washed and chopped into small pieces
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced
- 1 medium potato peeled and chopped into small dice
- 1 rindless rasher of bacon or a small pack of smoked bacon lardons
- 4 fresh tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped or one small can of plum tomatoes
- A handful of small pasta shells or other small cut pasta
- 2 tablespoons of frozen peas
- 2 vegetable or chicken stock cubes and water to cover the vegetables
- A little fresh spring green cabbage, finely sliced if liked
- To serve, fresh crusty bread or thickly sliced, buttered toast and a little grated cheddar or parmesan cheese.
In a large saucepan melt the butter or margarine and add the bacon or pancetta and the onions and cook over a lowish heat. Stir frequently to stop it burning. The bacon or pancetta should go a lightish pink colour and the onion should end up looking glossy
Add the carrot, the potato, celery and the garlic and gently cook those for 5 mins until they’re starting to soften a little. Add the tomatoes and stir. Next, add the stock cubes and enough water to just about cover the vegetables.
Simmer until the potato and carrot are nice and soft.
Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes then add the peas and the cabbage if using.
Cook until the pasta and the peas are cooked through.
Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary. Add a little freshly ground pepper if it needs a little kick
Serve in warmed bowls with French bread or hot buttered toast.