After talking about no resolutions for me this year, I do have one. Eat more vegetables! I always think I do okay but I know there is always room for improvement. So, just the other day I was looking around the cupboards and fridge to see what kind of veggie based dinner I could come up with. Guess what? This delicious vegetable based soup turned up in a bowl a while later. Verdict, I ate two bowls!
What exactly is a Minestrone soup? Well to the best of my knowledge, it's a tomato based vegetable soup that may contain pasta or rice. Personally I think it has to contain pasta, but that's just my taste buds talking. Of course, it's Italian in origin and it is pretty darn tasty. Each time I make it, it always turns out different. Each variety is tasty, hearty and warming, but different. This time, I took the time to write down every single note and go over it with a fine tooth comb to be able to share it with you. And this particular time the soup turned out even better. So, this recipe is a keeper for you soup lovers.
I used frozen green beans in this recipe because it was all I had. You can easily use fresh if your have them and prefer. This is how you do that. Trim the beans and cut them into about 2 inch pieces. Place them in a colander and pour over boiling water and leave to drain. Add them with the rest of the vegetables at the sautee stage in the recipe. Fresh is always better if you have them!
As well this soup doesn't have to be limited to the vegetables on the ingredient list. I simply used these vegetables because they were in my fridge. Add whatever you have and I am sure it will still be delicious. Quite often minestrone soup contains beans of sorts, especially white beans. I would have added some except I only had dry on hand that required soaking. Beans would add another level of heartiness to the soup.
With all that being said, this soup is quite delicious & hearty just how it is. It needs nothing added or taken away. However, like always, I am putting substitution out there so you know it can be done pretty much how you like it.
Serves 6 - 8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 50 minutes
1 Large can (14 oz) whole tomatoes
4 Cups/1 Litre vegetable stock
3 carrots, peeled, cut lengthways and cut into small pieces
2 Celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Zucchini, cut half lengthways and then cut into 1/4 inch pieces
6 radishes. halved and cut into thin slices
1 Cup/150 grams green beans, frozen & thawed
1 Small onion, finely diced
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 Teaspoon dried basil
Small bunch of fresh chopped basil
1/2 Cup/40 grams Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 Cup/75 grams pasta shells
1/3 Cup/80 ml olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
In a large stainless steel pot set over medium heat, add about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic. Stir for a minute and add the onions. Stir well and leave to sautee for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, celery, zucchini, radishes and remaining olive oil. Stir well and cook adding a splash of stock for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the can tomatoes, green beans, remaining stock, balsamic vinegar, dried basil and dried oregano. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
Uncover, add pasta and season with salt and pepper. Cook until pasta is soft, about 8 - 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil.
Serve in bowls topped with fresh grated parmesan cheese
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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