If there’s one soup that’s got it all; veggies, nutrients, taste and that special Winter heartiness, it’s good old-fashioned minestrone soup. Or as we like to call it As-Much-Veggies-as-You-Can-Find-in-the-Fridge Soup. Honestly, you can put almost any vegetables in this big pot of goodness, add stock and tomatoes and viola, it’s good to go!
Our recipe is based on taste.com.au’s minestrone soup with a few of our own little mama tweaks added as usual! You don’t have to use the vegetables we have suggested and can swap many of these for others or even add more if you like. The trick is to choose vegetables that can be cut into small bite size pieces and when cooked stay in their shape (think carrots but not pumpkin for example).
1 x 300g diced bacon (or four pieces of bacon, rind removed, chopped)
2 x carrots, peeled, chopped into small squares
1 x zucchini, chopped into small squares
1/2 a red capsicum, chopped into small squares (or celery if you have no capsicum)
1 x potato, peeled, chopped
2 x teaspoons of minced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, crushed)
1L (4 cups) beef stock
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
Small handful of spaghetti or fettuccini or 80g (1 cup) small shell pasta
1/3 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
1. Place the bacon, carrots, zucchini, capsicum and potato in a large saucepan with a splash of oil and stir to combine. Cook over high heat, uncovered, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, beef stock, tomatoes and red kidney beans to the pan, cover and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
4. Increase the heat to high again. Add pasta and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley. Serve straight away.
Enjoy with some yummy crusty bread like sough dough warmed under the grill! Deliciously perfect for these cold winter nights!
MAMA’S TIP: This is a very chunky soup so you could always add another can of tomatoes and some more water or stock to make the batch even bigger. It will already serve a family of four for one or two nights but you can freeze what’s left over, just make sure you let it cool completely before popping into the freezer.