It’s coming into winter, which equals open fires, red wine, casseroles and of course soups
I make soup at least once in the cooler months. Obviously its tasty, but it’s also cheap and filling and usually easy. This soup we would have at least once a fortnight. It’s a thoroughly unauthentic and probably nothing like a minestrone. I suspect it started of as minestrone and throughout time it’s kind of morphed into what it is, which is delicious.
It’s also really flexible and I always make it with Italian soup mix, potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, but whatever else that goes into it is what I have on hand. Always add the pasta last and don’t overcook it. If you aren’t serving it straight away only par cook the pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.
Let’s make minestrone soup
There is chopped onions & garlic
Potatoes, celery and carrots
Italian soup mix
Kale & spinach
Minestrone Soup (makes a lot adjust as required)
1 cup Italian soup mix (the dried Italian bean mix, in where you also find dried lentils)
1 tbsp good olive oil
1 onion chopped (sliced leek also works well)
1 clove of garlic chopped
1/2-1 chilli chopped (depending on how spicing you want it and the quantity your making)
1-2 medium potatoes large diced (depending on how much you want to put in)
2 sticks of Celery sliced
2 carrots sliced
1/2 Zucchini sliced (optional and I only ever put it in if I have some, you could also put in some chopped capsicum in its place or just leave it out)
handful of spinach and or Kale, roughly chopped ( again this is optional I only use it if I have it)
1 810g can of crushed/chopped tomatoes.
1 cup of small pasta (in this case I used small spirals but have used macaroni or spaghetti broken into smaller pieces)
small handful of herbs (Basil/oregano/thyme/parsley whatever I have on hand that is vaguely Italian)
The first thing you need to do it cook your beans. You can do this via soaking them in water overnight and then boil them for about 1 hour. I’m never that organised so I do them in my pressure cooker. For this pop them in pressure cooker cover with water to a depth of about 10cm, pop lid on and bring up to pressure, then simmer 10 mins turn off heat and let it cool down and depressurise (is this a word?). Either way strain beans.
Heat oil in big stock pot or very large saucepan, then add garlic, onion and chilli fry until soft. Then add in potatoes, celery and carrots as well as beans, and tomatoes. Fill can tomatoes came form with water add this to soup. Bring to boil and simmer 15 mins or until carrot and potato are nearly cooked
Add Zucchini and spinach, simmer 5 mins. Add pasta, cook till done if serving straight away, if serving later par cook pasta as it will go on cooking in the hot soup after it’s been taken off the stove.
Serve hot. I like mine with basil pesto and parmesan I doubt this is at all authentic and nobody else in the family likes it like this, but I like it and think it adds to it in a delicious way.
Garlic bread goes spectacularly well with this