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Minestrone soup

When a friend asks you for a recipe whilst she has been solo parenting for 5 days with 3 boys under 6 and is waving the white flag as the lurgy kicks in…..the least I can do is oblige! (Especially when her hub is on a jolly skiing!)

And it was a timely request because I am grateful to the mighty minestrone as via this picture it has been the cornerstone of starting the fuss-free foodie. The picture was the cover photo for the FB group in the beginning and has been an unsung hero as it has been not written or posted about until now! So it seemed fitting in the week where I was planning to change with new branding that it should be celebrated! So thank you, Nay, you were right on the money!

So…..Minestrone….an Italian classic…basically Italian vegetable soup! However, I feel its so much more than your standard vegetable soup as it has so much going for it; a meal in a bowl! Veg naturally, pasta, potatoes, legumes, greens and notes of Parmesan. For those of you that know me, my cooking defaults naturally to Italian, as it’s what I grew up with, so it’s a bowl full of nostalgia and definitely comes under that ‘comfort food’ banner!

Check out ‘ABOUT’ the fuss-free foodie if you want to find out more about my cooking journey so far, and remember to join us in the fuss-free foodie FB group. Please feel free to share links that you like and post what you are cooking! Lisa x

Minestrone Soup (serves 4)

1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed/finely chopped
1 courgette, diced
2 small pots, diced
2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
1L veg stock (I use Kallo)
2 bay leaves
1 can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
A handful of shredded cavolo nero
2 handfuls small pasta or broken up spaghetti
Parmesan rinds or vegetarian alternative
Extra virgin or rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
Optional tsp of green pesto

  1. Add a lug of oil into a large pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and soften for 5-6 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and soften for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add the tomato puree to the pan, stir and cook out for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and stock. Bring to the boil then add the courgette, borlotti beans, pasta, Parmesan rinds (or alternative if using), bay leaves and seasoning.
  3. Simmer for 10-15 mins until the potatoes and pasta are cooked. A couple of minutes from the end, add the cavolo nero and add a drop more water if you need to make it more ‘soupy’.
  4. Pull out the rinds and bay leaves. Serve with grated Parmesan and teaspoon of pesto on top of each bowl, if using.

Forget the fuss…

  1. Don’t have borlotti beans? Use pinto or cannellini beans
  2. No Parmesan rinds? Don’t let it stop you, just save them in a bag in the fridge for next time….they keep for ages!
  3. No cavolo nero? Use kale as an alternative or spinach
  4. Feel free to add and interchange vegetables that you have or that need using up.
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