Minestrone

After a long lazy Christmas break, I’m finally welcoming the New Year with some hearty soup. Though it’s not as cold here in Seattle as the rest of the states, there is still a wintery chill in the air. Minestrone is a quick and easy soup to make, and really hearty and delicious. The great thing about minestrone soup, is that you can mix in any type of winter vegetable. You can add carrots, potatoes, squash, parsnip  etc. as long as it’s chopped into small dice. It’s a great way to use up vegetables and create a wholesome meal at the same time. The bacon and pasta really add substance to this soup making it a great lunch to bring to work. My recipe includes chickpeas, and rainbow carrots, which make it really colorful and appetizing. This soup is packed with proteins and vitamins, and it’s a veritable meal in itself.  So, if you’re struggling with the January blues and want a quick and simple home cooked dish, this minestrone is great one to try.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped into small squares
  • 1 regular tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 550ml of chicken/ vegetable stock
  • One 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 10g of spaghetti, broken into small pieces

To serve

  • Crusty bread
  • Fresh parsley

Method

Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil to the saucepan and fry the onions for about 3-5 minutes, until golden. Add the garlic and carrots, then cook for a further 5-8 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the saucepan and leave aside on a plate. With the saucepan still over a medium high heat, add the bacon and fry until golden and crisp.
Remove any excess bacon grease and then add the vegetables and bacon back to the saucepan. Next, add the tin of chickpeas, the stock (veg/ chicken), tin of tomatoes and thyme to the saucepan. Allow the soup to simmer for about 30-35 minutes over a medium heat. Then, taste the soup and season with salt and pepper. Add the spaghetti pieces and cook for a further 5-7 minutes until the spaghetti is cooked. Serve with some crusty bread and fresh parsley.

Minestrone