Minestrone Soup Recipe

vegetables

Before the southern summer heat vents its spleen and the northerners tuck themselves in for winter,  a nutritious meal that might ward off cold and flu viruses that accompany seasonal changes, could be just what we need.

Such as Minestrone served with some crusty rolls/baguette slices.

Minestrone

Minestrone

There are a multitude of recipes for Minestrone out there, from basic to gourmet, but I tend to think the best for me, is a mixture of both. Something easy to prepare, easy to cook and simple to remember, especially when I am out shopping for ingredients. 

Saute, simmer and sip…..that is my mantra when making soups. You don’t want to be fussing too much, nor for too long.

Minestrone Soup can be a complete meal in a bowl, providing plenty of protein, carbohydrate, minimal fat, green vegetables, lots of fibre plus vitamin C, A , B, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc and more.

It is also a great way to use up those leftover vegetables that are heading towards their use-by date.

vegetables

The recipe can be adapted to feed a hungry horde or a small two person family. Another advantage is that you can cook this in one large saucepan, if you wish (read: less washing up), or you may prefer to saute the ingredients separately. This is totally your choice.

Recipe – My Minestrone

  • 1 tbspn Olive Oil (cold pressed virgin olive oil is best)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Onions, sliced and diced
  • 2 rashers Bacon ( this is optional, if you want to keep it vegetarian)
  • 500 ml (2 U.S. cups) Beef/Chicken/Vege Stock, plus 1/2 cup extra stock in reserve.
  • An assortment of vegetables which might include:
    • 2 – 3 Carrots, sliced & diced
    • 1/2 cup sliced cabbage
    • 2 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 3 celery stalks, diced but keep leaves and top of stalk whole
    • 1/2 cup Frozen/fresh sliced beans
    • 2 zucchinis, diced into large chunks
    • 1/2 cup Spinach, chopped roughly (frozen or fresh)
    • 1-2  Handfuls of torn fresh basil leaves
  • 440 g (15oz) Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 120g (5oz) tin Beans of your choice (cannellini, kidney or even a can of four bean mix)
  • 1/2 cup dried Pasta* , preferably small shells/spirals but any pasta will do nicely

* Time-saving tip: Use leftover cooked pasta, instead of dried/fresh.

  • splash of red wine (optional)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Herbs such as Oregano, parsley
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese (fresh) for garnish
soup

What you can do whilst watching TV or listening to some good music, otherwise known as the:

Method

  1. Begin to heat the stock in a large saucepan.
  2. In a separate pan, saute bacon, onion and garlic in olive oil for 3-5 minutes, and add the stock.
  3. Add prepared vegetables and basil leaves to the pan and saute for about 3-5  minutes depending on the quantities used.
  4. Add the chopped vegetables to the stock mix along with the whole celery leaves, chopped tomatoes, bay leaves and red wine) and bring to the boil.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes – quite enough time to take a power nap, relax, change the playlist, check email, (although I don’t encourage the latter). You could even try some of the wine, if you decided to add some to the soup! Not too much, though, or you might forget to include the last few steps of the recipe!  
  6. I like to remove the Bay and celery leaves at this point, otherwise it is difficult to retrieve them later on.  
  7. Add the dried pasta, herbs and seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook for about 8 -10 minutes. It should be starting to smell oh-so-good!!!    
  9. Drag yourself away from the computer, or the wine, to check on the stove! At this stage, it should look a bit like a thick casserole as opposed to a soup. You can leave it this way, if you prefer, or
  10. Add around extra 1/2 – 3/4 cup stock or water, to thin it down a little.
  11. Heat through, taste test to adjust seasonings, and serve, garnished with a little fresh shaved Parmesan.

Voila – A complete meal in a bowl and little washing up!

soup
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65 thoughts on “Minestrone Soup Recipe

  1. I am prepared to Like this because you are a Good Woman, Amanda. But it is so unlike that which I call minestrone that they could be two different soups ! Still and all, there’s no doubt yours will be Big, Healthy, Yummy and Nutritious, so I can scarcely criticise. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Soup is our go-to recipe for lunch. Thanks for reminding me about this excellent one! But every Italian will have her own recipe, and it’s the sort of thing we can all put our own stamp on. Great stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, Margaret! We all vary it to suit ourselves. This recipe is really for those who have never had it before. It is kind of the Women’s Weekly version! What would to add to this recipe?

      Like

  3. I love soup, especially now as our days are becoming colder and Minestrone is one of my favourites. I haven’t tried adding courgettes before (zucchini?) so I’ll add those next time and maybe a slurp of red wine (a good enough excuse to open a bottle!). Have a good weekend Amanda – my brood have now moved on from the cricket to the rugby in Japan !! Marion

    Liked by 1 person

    • Courgettes are the same as Zucchini, Marion. I wonder how the different names for things came about, in different places. Contrastingly, I have discovered the Norwegian, Hindi and French use the same word for Pineapple – Ananas! Such different cultures yet the same word.
      Cheers to Japan – they are playing Rugby there?🍾🍾🍷

      Like

    • Exactly Dorothy. That is the great thing about soups. You can make them up as you go. Just the basic flavourings necessary is a good guide for a cook, but you can add whatever you like and they always turn out. What a fantastically versatile meal they are. Love your comment about never meeting a soup you didn’t like. Lol. Great phrasing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I was holding my cooking classes, “Soup to Nuts” I started with soup because it was a great way to explain that learning to cook isn’t learning to read and follow recipes, but learning basic techniques that you can use without whatever is best at the market, what you like, and what you have on hand! This is how confidence in cooking blooms.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A great way to teach. Following recipes requires very little skill, I think, Dorothy. Cooking for seasonal vegetables is a better aim for a cook and in that way a cook address nutrition as well. How long have you been teaching cooking?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks like a great recipe with an excellent blend of fresh ingredients, prepared from scratch, and time-saving ingredients, like the left-over pasta. The weather bureau is forecasting a few days of heat but it should be cooler again on the weekend. Might give the minestrone a try. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I love ‘creative leftovers’! Having even one thing ready to go makes the daily grind of preparing dinner so much easier. I know there are convenience foods out there, but I have a thing about eating food that’s fresh and without additives. That means work. Worth it, but those leftovers truly are gold. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • The feeling about leftovers is the same here, although the MOTH (Man of the House) disagrees! It is so much Moore fun cooking if you can use some creativity and experiment, than reproducing the same old straightforward recipe. I hate pure packaged convenience meals, and Uber eats.

        Like

      • lol – does the MOTH do much cooking?
        I don’t like eating the same ‘meal’ twice in a row [except for lunch, leftovers for lunch is great]. But I do enjoy creating something different from a pre-cooked ingredient. For example, leftover roast chicken is sensational served with tiny savoury pancakes, spring onion, cucumber and [Asian] plum sauce. Kind of like a poor man’s Peking chicken. 😀
        Oh, and totally agree re the packaged…um…stuff. Actually cheaper and often faster to make from scratch.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t understand why people can’t see that. Far cheaper and tastier. The MOTH cooks occasionally. Sausages, meat pie (from one specific bakery), and a BBQ is the extent of his cooking. Sadly. But that is ok, as I quite like it.

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      • My ex made the best bolognese sauce, and I’ve never been able to replicate it. I get close but not quite. Sadly, that was about all he ever made too.
        The boys of the Offspring’s generation all seem to be brilliant cooks. I love good food, and I do enjoy cooking, but after 30 odd years… lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • I get what yo are saying. I do because I feel.the sane way. Cooking becomes mundane. But I will shortly move into a new house with new appliances, so I think that will start my enthusiasm again.
        Offsprings generation?

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      • Thank you. Okay – yep I know the millenials. My daughter is one. But she does not like cooking, much to my chagrin. My son who is a bit older than that is and has always been a great cook. Jamie Oliver was the inspiration to get him cooking.

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      • Btw, the MOTH is the same- not wanting to eat the same thing twice. I like the sounds of the chicken dish you mentioned. I like to make a chicken a la king with mushrooms or a chicken and corn soup, with leftover roast chicken. It is also great on a sandwich with it and diced celery in a mayonnaise/sour cream mix.

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      • Yes! 😀 😀 Have you tried sprinkling just a few flakes of dried chillies onto roast vegetables? If you don’t mind a bit of heat, the chillies really lift the flavours.

        Liked by 1 person

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