Minestrone Soup – a meal in a bowl!

I like the kind of meal that may be put together quickly and easily from store cupboard ingredients and this one fits the bill. The original recipe appeared in a BBC Good Food Magazine supplement some years ago and I adapted it a little to suit our tastes. As well as being appreciated by all the family it has the added advantages of being cheap and filling!

These quantities make 4 generous servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 courgette
  • 2 large potatoes
  • a chunk of white or green cabbage (about ¼ of a small cabbage)
  • 400g tin of mixed beans (or whichever beans you prefer), rinsed and drained
  • 75g of pasta shapes or spaghetti snapped into 2 or 3cm lengths
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • a couple of squirts of tomato purée
  • about a tablespoon of butter, or a glug of vegetable oil if you prefer
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock (using 2 vegetable stock cubes)

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Method:

  • peel the carrots and potatoes and chop them into small dice
  • peel the onion and chop it finely
  • wash the courgette (leave the skin on) and celery sticks and cut them both into small pieces, about 1cm
  • finely shred the cabbage
  • melt the butter (or oil) in a large pan, add all the vegetables and mix them all together so that they are coated in the butter
  • cook the vegetables gently in the butter for about 10 minutes until they start to soften

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  • add the tomatoes, tomato purée and vegetable stock to the pan and give everything a good stir
  • put a lid on the pan and simmer the soup for about 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are just about cooked
  • add the pasta to the pan and simmer the soup for another 10 minutes
  • add the mixed beans to the pan and simmer the soup for another 5 minutes

The soup is now ready to serve! Garnish the soup with a generous amount of Parmesan and serve it accompanied by crusty bread or a freshly made cheese scone. This may become a family favourite, as it is with us!

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