Minestrone Soup

This is a basic but lovely vegetable soup – it’s jam-packed fully of goodness and will do anyone who eats it the world of good!

Ingredients

1 tbs     Olive oil

2          Bacon strips, finely chopped

1          Garlic clove, peeled and chopped

1          Red onion, peeled and finely chopped

2          Carrots, washed and chopped

2          Sticks celery, chopped

1          Red pepper, diced

1          Courgette, chopped

½         White cabbage, small, washed and finely sliced

1 tsp     Oregano, dried

1          Bay leaf

800g    Tins of chopped plum tomatoes (2 x 400g tins)

400g    Tin of cannellini beans, drained

1lt.       Vegetable stock

A bunch of basil

Salt and black pepper

Parmesan cheese

Preparation and cooking

Heat a large pot over a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil. Throw in the bacon and fry it gently until it starts to turn brown and smell fantastic. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, courgette, red pepper, cabbage, oregano and bay leaf and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.

Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock, then cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

After that, add cannellini beans, and cook for 10 more minutes, until warmed through. Stir some chopped basil leaves into the soup. Finish by seasoning with a little salt and black pepper and pass the Parmesan around the table for people to sprinkle on their soup.

Variations

Basically, any good vegetables that are in season can be used, including adding 1 diced potato to thicken the soup if you prefer it that way.   The cannellini beans can be substituted for small pasta shapes as well.

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