I’m quite fussy when it comes to soup, but I do love a good mug of minestrone soup. Maybe it’s because with the pasta it feels like a meal in itself. Or because minestrone can be adapted depending on the season we’re in. Courgettes, cabbage or peas – whatever takes your fancy as anything goes!
Spoiler alert: This recipe suggests using dried white beans that you soak overnight. This obviously adds to the time it will take you to prepare this recipe. To cut down in time (I love simple!), I’ve used canned cannellini beans in this recipe which worked a treat. Plus it’s much easier if you’re making this recipe “last minute”.
Ingredients (enough for 4-6)
100 grams of dried white cannellini beans (or the canned variety if you want to cut down on the prep time)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 celery stalks (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
400 g can of chopped tomatoes
750 ml of hot vegetable stock, or chicken stock if you prefer
salt and freshly ground pepper
60 g of small, short cut pasta (cut up vermicelli pasta works a treat, but any pasta goes so you can add your favourite shapes – shells are my favourite!)
4 tbsp of chopped parsley
40 g of Parmesan, grated (or your favourite cheese, I’m not judging..)
If you are using the dried beans, add them to a bowl, cover with cold water and put them in the fridge. Allow them to soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Drain the beans, put them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and boil on a high temperature for 10 minutes. Skim the surface of any scum (Yuk, I have that word) by using a spoon. Lower the heat and keep part of the lid on the pan to allow the steam to escape. Simmer for 1 hour until the beans are tender. Drain and put to one side.
Alternatively, use the canned bean variety if you want to cheat 🙂 and follow the recipe from here:
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the celery, onions and carrots (or other vegetables of your choice) and fry, stirring them occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
Stir in the cannillini beans, can of tomatoes (with the juice), your stock of choice, and some salt and pepper to taste. Bring the whole lot to the boil, keep stirring now, cover with a lid and simmer for approximately 25 minutes.
Add in your pasta of choice and simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the pasta is “al dente” – you know, soft enough to eat, but hard enough to still have a bit of “bite”.
Finally, stir in the parsley, add half the Parmesan (or other cheese) and adjust seasoning if you need to. Serve the minestrone soup hot with the remaining Parmesan.
Add a “wow” factor to your minestrone soup
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not add a “pastry lid” to your minestrone soup to really “wow” your guests? Check out “how to” HERE.