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Minestrone – Healthy, warming and easy on the pocket

December 27, 2011 by Christine 2 Comments »

When it’s cold outside and Christmas is over, a good warming home-made minestrone will make you feel cosy. With the added bonus of being full of goodness what more could you want?

Ingredients (for 4 people):

      • Half an onion, finely chopped
      • 1 carrot, quartered lengthways and chopped into small cubes
      • 1 stick celery, quartered lengthways and finely sliced
      • 1 more vegetable of choice cut into small pieces
      • 1 tin cannellini beans (or 200gr dried cannellini beans soaked overnight in cold water)
      • 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
      • 500ml Chicken or vegetable stock
      • 4 tbsp olive oil
      • 200g small pasta shapes (or you can break up spaghetti into small lengths)
      • 500ml water
      • salt

In a large saucepan, heat the oil and then sauté the onions until soft. Add the bacon/pancetta if you are using it and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the carrots, celery and your extra vegetable (I often use a handful of green beans, a courgette or some broccoli but this is a great way to use up vegetables from the fridge). Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring well and then add the beans and the chopped tomato. Pour the stock over the top, bring to the boil and let it simmer for about an hour and a half (you can do it in 30 minutes if you are using tinned beans).

In a second small saucepan, boil the water and salt to taste (dissolve the salt in the water, then taste the water to see if you like the taste and add more salt or water accordingly). Add the pasta and cook for the time stated on the packet.

Mix the pasta with the minestrone and serve hot with crusty bread, ground pepper and a sprinkling of parmesan.

We enjoyed ours with a glass of Barbera from Vinchio Vaglio Serra. How will you enjoy yours?

 

 

2 Responses to “Minestrone – Healthy, warming and easy on the pocket”

  1. Can I substitute marinara sauce or fresh tomatoes for tomato paste and just alter the amount?

  2. Christine says:

    You can certainly substitute fresh tomatoes. You would need about 5 or 6 large very ripe tomatoes and you should preferably skin them and then chop them before adding them to the minestrone.

    I also use fresh herbs and salt instead of a stock cube – generous pinches of oregano, basil, parsley, coriander and thyme and a chopped clove of garlic and then salt to taste.

    It’s a recipe that enjoys variation!

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