There’s nothing better when the cold weather is in than coming home to a bowl of hearty minestrone soup. Full of natural goodness and your 5 a day, its not only delicious and satisfying but provides plenty of nutrition.
- Add about 4 chilli flakes for a little heat.
- Delicious served with crusty bread with real Irish butter!
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole pot over a low-medium heat and gently fry the onion, celery, carrot, courgette and pancetta or lardons for 10 mins.
- Add the garlic and herbs, and cook for 1 min. Tip in the beans if using, chopped tomatoes, purée, stock and bay leaf. Season to taste. Bring to the simmer and cook for 30 mins.
- Add the pasta and greens, and cook for a further 10 mins. Ladle into bowls and scatter with the basil and some parmesan.
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
- 1 courgette, cubed
- 70g diced smoked pancetta or smoked bacon lardons
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 x 400g can cannellini beans (optional)
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 100g greens – kale, chard or cavolo nero work well (optional)
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1.2 litre vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 70g small pasta or broken spaghetti
- handful of basil (optional)
- finely grated parmesan, to serve