Minestrone soup to warm a winter evening

This tummy-warmer is one for those days when there’s a nip in the air, your fingers are tingling and you just cannot face another heavy creamy soup. You crave something wholesome, something that will fill you, but not sit heavy throughout the day.

What can be better than a hearty warm minestrone soup, full of fresh healthy goodness?

And what’s even better, you can throw in those last couple of vegetables in your fridge at the end of the week. Just add them in order of how long they would cook: hard vegetables first with the carrots/celery to very soft at the end with the zucchini.

 

Minestrone soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 rashers bacon, chopped
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • ¾ cup small shell or spiral dried pasta
  • 400g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
  2. Add bacon, onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion has softened and bacon is golden.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir in to caramelise for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, tomato and 1 cup water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Throw in the pasta, beans, zucchini and peas. Simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  6. Stir in basil and top with cheese. Serve with crusty warm bread.
http://www.melissaloh.com/2012/05/23/minestrone-soup-to-warm-a-winter-evening/