Minestrone soup – a one pot wonder

Now that it has finally begun to feel like winter, a large pot of warming soup is just what we need to keep us going. This minestrone soup is a family favourite. I’m not sure that it is particularly authentic as an Italian recipe, but with loads of nutritious vegetables, beans and pasta in the one dish, I don’t think that it matters.

Ingredients

  • 2 litres beef stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Bottle/jar of tomato passata or sugo (700 g)
  • 1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (400 g)
  • 175 g shortcut bacon (or streaky bacon or speck if you want to be fancy), cubed
  • 1/2 cup small sized pasta (I used ditalini rigati)
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 1 swede, chopped
  • 1 turnip, chopped
  • Handful of English spinach
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated or shaved Parmesan (optional)

This soup, like most soups, is so easy to make. Though I did use my new birthday present to prepare all my vegetables, which made the vegetable chopping so much easier and quicker. Here she is, my lovely new food processor! Isn’t she pretty?

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In a large saucepan, sauté the bacon in the olive oil. It’s a good idea to sauté the bacon to brown and crisp a bit before adding the vegetables as it intensifies the flavour.

Add all the chopped vegetables, beef stock and tomato passata or sugo. Bring it to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Add the pasta while the soup is still simmering and stir it through while it becomes tender. Add in the kidney beans, seasoning and parsley. Stir through and serve. I like to add a little bit of Parmesan cheese on top too, but it is optional.

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This soup only takes an hour to prepare and cook and will easily feed six cold and hungry adults. A perfect one pot wonder!

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