By Rachel Gillon
Minestrone soup is one of those soups that’s a real powerhouse of nutrition. It’s the kind of soup that you can squeeze so many different types of vegetables into. What’s in season or what you have leftover will not go wrong in Minestrone soup. It’s when you look at the nutritional benefits of the vegetables that you realise just how good a bowl of soup is for your health, and I’m a great believer in ‘you are what you eat’. I made this soup recently, and the ingredients were just what was left in the basket, and remember if you have any leftover cooked vegetables they can be added in.
Other vegetables such as parsnips, celeriac, potatoes, sweet potatoes will work just as well. In summer I usually add courgettes and peppers as usually there’s a plentiful cheap supply. With the addition of the pasta in minestrone along with some crusty bread on the side, you have a nourishing, meal, bursting full of flavour.
1 tablespoon oil. (I use rapeseed)
I onion chopped
I leek chopped
4 rashers of bacon ( use vegetable stock cubes if you prefer a meat free stock)
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
2 carrots chopped
1 celery stick – chopped
Small piece of turnip chopped
400g tin of tomatoes
1litre of water or stock
1 teaspoon of dried mixed or Italian herbs
100g frozen peas or broad beans
Heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and leek and gently cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic & bacon (if using) and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
Add the turnip, carrots, celery, turnip, and continue cooking for 1 minute.
Add the tin of tomatoes, the herbs, along with the water or stock and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and continue simmering for approximately 8 -10 minutes. When the pasta is almost cooked, stir in the peas or beans and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
Delicious served with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan or Cheddar and black pepper.