Minestrone Soup (+ bonus recipe: Home-made Tomato Sauce)


Minestrone Soup

In honour of Meat-Free Week 2015, this ultra-easy, but full on flavour recipe has been slightly adapted from a recipe in Ellie Krieger’s Small Changes, Big Results.
Ingredients (serves 6):
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped in small chunks
2 celery stalks, chopped in small chunks
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp black pepper
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium courgette, cut into medium chunks
120g Fusilli pasta
Salt, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
  1. In a very large saucepan, heat the olive over low-medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for 8-10 minutes until softened, stirring often.
  2. Add the garlic, dried basil, dried oregano and black pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, red kidney beans, courgette and pasta. Stir thoroughly and bring to the boil.
  4. Lower the temperature and leave to simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and vegetables are tender.
  5. Taste your soup and add salt if needed (it will depends on how salty your vegetable stock is. Always add your salt at the end: it is easy to add it, but impossible to remove once you have put too much in.)
  6. Ladle into bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on top.




Bonus recipe to celebrate Meat-Free Week 2015! I hope you’ve enjoyed the ideas I’ve shared with you on here and Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Home-made Tomato Sauce (the slow-cooker version)

2tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion (or 2 shallots,) finely chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped into very small chunks
1 celery stalk, chopped into very small chunks
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp coarse sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
120ml white wine
2x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1tsp caster sugar
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion (or shallots,) carrot and celery. Cook gently for 10-12 minutes until the vegetables have softened, stirring often.
  2. Add the garlic, chilli, salt, pepper and dried herbs. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic and herbs are fragrant.
  3. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a slow cooker. Add the white wine, tomatoes and sugar. Stir, clamp on the lid and cook for 3-4 hours on high.
  4. After cooking, once the liquid in the sauce has reduced and all the vegetables are tender, leave the sauce to cool for a few minutes. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, blitz the sauce until it is smooth.
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with a portion of pasta and plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.


(Sandra’s notes: you do not have to use a slow-cooker. In this case, use a large saucepan from the beginning instead of the frying pan. Follow all the same steps and cook for 1 hour-1 hour 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You do not have to blend the sauce smooth. It is my son’s preference, which is why I do it, but you could easily leave it as it is with the chunky vegetables.)



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