This hearty and nutritious minestrone soup is brilliant at incorporating what you’ve got in your fridge and pantry. It’s super-easy to adapt according to the vegetables you have in the house. For a vegetarian version just leave out the bacon. I love to use red beans in it but recently I tried chickpeas and loved the end result too.
2 Tbsp oil of preference
100 gr bacon, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup onion
1l of water or homemade broth
2 cups potatoes, diced
2 cups carrot, diced
2 cups of red or orange kumara, diced
2 cups of pumpkin, diced
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup of red kidney beans or chickpeas
1 can of pasta sauce
salt and pepper
herbs (thyme, celery, basil…)
- Put a large pot (I use a 4l one) on a medium-high heat and add the oil.
- Finely chop the bacon, if using, and add it to the pot, stirring occasionally.
- Peel and finely chop a small onion and add it to the pot, sauté it till soft and transparent.
- Add 1l of homemade or shop bought broth. If you don’t have it just add 1l of water and a few cubes of stock you got in cupboards.
- Trim and dice the potatoes, carrots, kumara and pumpkin into 1-2cm, adding them to the pot as you go.
- Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables almost cooked.
- Add a can/jar of nice pasta sauce and additional one litre of water.
- Add a can of red kidney beans/chickpeas or one cup if you precooked your own.
- Season the soup to perfection with some salt and pepper and add your favourite herbs, fresh if possible.
- Serve it with some grated Parmesan cheese if desired.Note: you can add other vegetables like green bean, zucchini or even pasta.