Monday, 18 April 2016

My Favourite Minestrone

Now that the light fades sooner and the evening air has its Autumn chill, soup has made a welcome return to our dinner table. For me, there is nothing better on a colder night than a bowl of warm, homemade soup with fresh bread. Such a simple meal but so nourishing!

Minestrone Soup

Over the weekend, I made a big batch of my favourite minestrone filled with delicious vegetables. This soup is easy to make, economical and filling when served with fresh bread. The original recipe is long forgotten but I have made it so many times over the years that I no longer need a recipe to follow. This is how I made it today:

Minestrone Soup

3 cloves garlic
1 large onion
2 rashers bacon
large glug of olive oil
3 large carrots
2 sticks celery
2 large or 3 medium potatoes
large handful of green beans
1 large zucchini
1 litre vegetable stock
1/2 litre of filtered water
1 x 400g can chopped organic tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
large handful of fresh basil leaves

* You will need a large soup pot (or similar) with a lid to make this soup.*

1.  Peel and crush garlic cloves. Peel and finely chop onion. Dice bacon.
2. Peel and roughly chop remaining vegetables, keeping beans and zucchini separate from carrots, celery and potatoes.
3.  Heat large glug of olive oil in large pot over medium heat.
4.  Fry garlic, onion and bacon in oil until onion becomes translucent.
5.  Add chopped carrots, celery and potatoes and fry for a few minutes.
6.  Add chopped beans and zucchini and fry for few minutes.
7.  Turn down heat to low, put lid on pot and let vegetables cook for further 15mins, stirring very regularly so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
8.  Add stock, water, tomatoes and tomato paste and chopped basil leaves to pot. Stir until well combined.
9. Bring to boil again and then lower heat so soup comes to a simmer. Cook until all vegetables are tender.

You can serve this soup with warm, fresh bread and shavings of parmesan cheese. Alternatively, you could serve it with cooked pasta shells or macaroni stirred through the soup instead of the bread...or with the bread so that that little puddle of soup, left in the bottom of the bowl,  can be soaked up. Either way, it's delicious!



  1. We love minestrone in our household as well.

    1. Hi Kathy, It is such an easy meal. I use fresh beans but I've also seen recipes that use tinned or dried beans too. I freeze portions for quick lunches and dinners when times get busy. Thanks for stopping by! Meg

  2. It looks great, isn't minestrone wonderful, it can be anything you dream up,

    I made a huge pot on Sunday afternoon with all the veg from the market,
    I don't use bacon but the flavour of this batch is so rich you wouldn't miss it. I use all your ingredients except basil (didn't have any) and added

    Big handful diced sweet potato
    Big handful diced pumpkin
    Big handful parsley
    Half cup red lentils
    Tin of kidney beans
    Half a small sugarloaf cabbage
    Small bunch spinach
    Half a red capsicum

    Saute the usual suspects,add everything else and whatever you think it needs in water volume and simmer until it looks good and smells divine, this is real stick to your ribs food and of course is even better the next day and gets frozen and eaten later as well as being enough to share some with a friend .

    1. Hi, Margaret. I love "stick to your ribs" food! All your extras sound delicious. That's the thing about a soup like this, you can add in whatever you get from the market, greengrocer or need to use up from the vegetable crisper. Once in the soup, it all works! Thanks for visiting! Meg:)

  3. ...and if you don't have any bread you just pick up the bowl and slurp it!
    Mr Granny used to call it a 'dogs dinner' when you dunked your break in and it got so heavy with soupy loveliness bits would plonk back into the soup. Delish!

    1. I'm glad there are others in this world who pick up their soup bowls with abandon and slurp!

  4. Hooray for it nearly being soup season here in QLD.

    1. Yep, bring on those cold mornings and chilly evenings! Warm soup, fresh bread...I don't think you can beat that type of simple, home cooked meal. Meg:)

  5. I can feel a minestrone coming on next week after reading this!