Chunky Minestrone Soup

12 May

This recipe comes a little late in the year as this soup is perfect for cold, wintery days or chilly spring nights. However, I made it recently and I felt it was too good not to share. Like many popular recipes, there are soooo many different minestrone recipes out there and they can vary greatly. This is the recipe that my family has made for years and so I’ve never felt the need to move away from it. It is a thick soup, more like a stew, and it is loaded with healthy, nutritious veggies and beans.

When making it, feel free to use whatever vegetables you like – you don’t have to be restricted to the ones that I have listed here and, to be honest, this recipe changes almost every time I make it depending on what is in season at the time. You can make the vegetables as chunky as you like – I prefer them quite chunky so that there is still some flavor left in them after all the time spent on the boil but if you prefer smaller chunks then do so but you probably won’t need to cook it for as long so adjust your cooking time accordingly. I find the best way to see if the soup is ready is to scoop out a potato chunk and eat it to see if it soft enough. If it is, then the soup is ready!

Chunky Minestrone Soup– Makes enough for about 4 to 6 people

A splash of olive oil
About 1 tablespoon of butter
1 large onion, diced into small pieces
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and diced into small pieces
1 large potato, cut into chunks
1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
2 carrots, cut into thick rounds
2 sticks of celery, cut into thick chunks
1 zucchini, cut into quartered rounds
1 large tin of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
Handful of fresh green beans, topped and tailed and cut into bite sized pieces
Roughly 200grams of canned red kidney beans, drained and washed
Roughly 200grams of canned cannellini beans, drained and washed
Splash of red or white wine (whatever you like)
1 cube of good vegetarian stock cube
Sprinkle of sugar
Salt and pepper
A generous handful of shredded cabbage
Fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, bay leaf.

Method:
Dice all vegetables prior to cooking so that they are ready to go in at different stages. In a large saucepan/pot, drizzle some olive oil and melt about a tablespoon of butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and soften slightly before adding the root vegetables (potato, sweet potato, carrots). Keep them moving around the pan so that they don’t brown too much – you just want them to soften slightly.

After about 4 minutes, add the celery and zucchini, and soften for another 2 minutes or so (always stirring them in the pot). Add the tin of tomatoes, the tomato paste, the green beans, the kidney beans, the cannellini beans and about a cup or two of water (add more if you like your soup runnier).

Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, before adding the vegetable cube, a splash of wine and a small pinch of sugar. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Keep simmering over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the shredded cabbage. Simmer for another 15 minutes (or shorter, if you prefer your vegetables with some crunch), stirring every so often. Once the vegetables are soft enough for your liking, stir through the fresh herbs and ladle soup into bowls. Serve with slices of thick, warm bread that have been smothered in creamy butter.

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2 Responses to “Chunky Minestrone Soup”

  1. VancityAllie May 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    That looks delicious! I’ve been looking for a good recipe for minestrone soup. Thanks!

    • greedyguts May 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

      No problems. You’ll probably have to wait until Fall now – it’s perfect for cold nights.

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