Since I only have one soup recipe uploaded on my blog so far I thought, why not try to make a minestrone, as it seems to be a dish everyone loves. It is filling, hearty, it is perfect to have in winter and it is very easy to veganise (yes that is a word I just made up). Oh, and it is super healthy of course. For me, making a Minestrone is not only a great way to use up the veggies in your fridge, but it is also a great way to celebrate them. Which is something we need to do more often nowadays.
Now another great thing about Minestrone is that it’s a dish that is hard to mess up, and it is hard to make a Minestrone taste bad. Even if you overcook a few of the ingredients, it really isn’t the end of the world. However, as much as many of us like our food to be simple, we want to cook it well am I right? So I have just made a couple of adjustments.
So, something I noticed in most classic Minestrone recipes, is that they tell you to simmer and cook the vegetables first then, one of the last steps is to add your pasta and then cook it after you have just cooked the veg, which is fine, and I am sure it will end up tasting wonderful. However, the response in my mind was “hmmm wouldn’t the veg be overcooked once you have cooked the pasta??” So that led me to slightly change things up a bit. As you will notice in the recipe, I decided to cook the pasta first in the stock. Then strain it (making sure you don’t discard the stock) and then from there you just have to focus on the vegetables. And then just stir your pasta through at the very end. If there is anyone that has made Minestrone before, let me know what you think of this procedure. I am interested to know.
Oh, and instead of having the bacon in the soup, I decided to dice it up nice and fine, fry it and crisp it up then sprinkling it on at the end as a bacon crumb. Which I thought was a nice little twist.
As always thank you all for reading through this post. I hope you like the recipe, and I hope you have a fantastic day (:
- 1.5 litres of vegetable stock plus 1 extra cup of veg stock to use at the end.
- 150 g of bacon chopped really fine this is going to made into a bacon crumb, so make sure it is super fine
- 1 brown onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 carrots roughly diced
- 1 zucchini roughly diced
- 2 stalks of celery roughly diced
- 400 g of tinned or jarred cannellini beans
- 350 g of potatoes washed then roughly diced
- 100 g Swiss chard also knows as silver beet leaves roughly shredded
- 2 to matoes quartered then finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
- 100 g of any pasta of your choosing
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 4-5 parsley stalks chopped fine
- 1 handful of fresh basil
- Parmesan cheese
Put your stock in a pot and bring to the boil. Add your pasta and cook to packet instructions until al dente. Now, we do not want to discard the stock, so put a sieve over a large bowl, then strain the pasta, making sure you get all of that stock in the bowl. Set aside.
- Get a pot nice and hot, add a glug of olive oil then add your bacon and fry until crispy and golden brown. Remove the bacon from the pot, then leave to drain on baking paper then set aside.
- Turn the heat on the pot to about medium and then add your onions, garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, thyme, bay leaves, parsley stalks and fry for a couple of minutes. Next add your stock back to the pot, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer those ingredients for about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- At this point, add your potatoes, Swiss chard, tomatoes and tomato paste. Once again, bring the stock back to the boil, then once it is boiling, bring the heat down and simmer for about 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Add the pasta and the beans and just warm those through.
- Pick your basil leaves, roll them up like a cigar then shred them, add them to your minestrone then turn the heat off.
- Finally, finish your soup off by adding your extra cup of vegetable stock to ensure your soup isn't too thick.
- Serve the minestrone into soup bowls or pasta bowls, then finish with a light grating of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of those bacon crumbs. Enjoy (:
- Cooking the pasta first, then straining it allows you to cook the vegetables without overcooking them.
- Boiling the pasta in the stock allows the stock to reduce a little bit so you end up with a really nice flavour.