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This minestrone soup is filled with an assortment of vegetables and pasta, all simmered together in a hearty vegetable broth. An easy meal perfect for a cold day!

 INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow capsicum, chopped
  • 1 medium red capsicum, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or what any you have leftover in our fridge)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (440 grams) diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (Pack stock is okay)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole grain orecchiette, elbow, or small shell pasta (I use Red Lentil pasta for Vegans)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained,
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnishing (optional, leave out for Vegans)

Method

  • Warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, often stirring, until the vegetables have softened, and the onions are turning translucent about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano, and thyme. Cook until fragrant while frequently stirring, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, broth, and water. Add the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked al dente.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan if you would like.