Sunday nights are usually lazy affairs, heralding as they do the dawn of a new working week. If I can summon the energy, I like to make something for my lunch over the coming week – a soup, a stew, a lasagna etc. Last Sunday I decided to make Minestrone soup, knowing my birthday was coming up soon and there would be much indulgence in the days that followed.
I know there are more recipes for this soup than you can shake the proverbial stick at but this is my version and it’s so delicious I think it’s worth sharing. A collaboration from my mum and a cook book somewhere along the way, it is delicious, easy, healthy and keeps well.
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 cup dried pasta (macaroni elbows are my favourite)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 300g green cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 can of cannellini beans (optional – a good source of protein)
- 1 litre of vegetable/chicken stock/water (in any combination you like)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Firstly, dice all your vegetables and heat the oil in a large stock pot. Gently brown the onion and garlic and then add the carrot. Cook a few minutes.
Now add in the zucchini, cabbage, water/stock, beans (if using) and tomato paste. Stir well, cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
If you are serving this immediately, bring the soup back up to the boil and add in the pasta. Cover until cooked, season with salt and pepper and serve with parmesan cheese.
If you wish to keep it for consumption through the week, it is best to keep the soup aside and store the cooked pasta seperately. Personally, I love to cook the pasta in the soup and then refrigerate it as one dish, allowing the pasta to soak up most of the soup liquid (as you can see in the photo below). As with any vegetable soup, feel free to throw in whatever vegetables you have hanging around. The only ‘compulsory’ elements in this dish and the onion, tomato pasta and cabbage, otherwise it’s just not the same!
I’ve also added some fresh, flat leaf parsley here because I happened to have some hanging around in the fridge.