Updated: Jul 6, 2019
As the weather gets cooler (or “colder” if you live in London) there is nothing more comforting at the end of a long day than a warm bowl of soup and what way to include more vegetables into your diet than a healthy, nutritious minestrone. The beauty of a minestrone is you can pretty much include any vegetable into the recipe, however there are a few guidelines to follow:
As with most Italian dishes, a minestrone starts with a good soffritto base. Onion, carrot and celery, cut into similar size chunks and sautéed in olive oil until soft. We also add whole garlic cloves into the mix as chopping them can make the garlic flavour overpowering.
The cooking times are a rough guideline. To be honest, it is very difficult to mess up this recipe, just be careful not to burn the soffritto. The vegetables should have a bit of a ‘bite; to them at the end of the cooking so keep tasting and checking to see how cooked they are.
Servings: 6 (1 serving per portion) Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Recipe Cost: £3.55
Nutritional Content (per serving)
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Total Carbohydrate: 25g
2 medium onions
4 celery stalk
6 cloves garlic
10 baby tomatoes
400g (225g drained) Borlotti beans
1.5l organic vegetable stock
10 cavolo nero leaves
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 tbsp olive oil
4 bay leaves
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp rosemary
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
Note: Season to taste with the herbs and spices near the end of cooking (quantities are included just as a guideline).
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1. Peel and dice the onion. Cut the celery and carrots into small pieces and discard the ends. They should be roughly the same size. Peel the cloves of garlic.
2. Place a large stock pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the vegetables and peeled garlic and sautée until the vegetables begin to soften - approx. 10 mins. Stir regularly.
3. While the vegetables are sautéeing, quarter the baby tomatoes and prepare 1.5 litres of vegetable stock.
4. Once the soffritto is has softened add the tomatoes, tomato purée and borlotti beans. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.
5. Add the vegetable stock and herbs. Cover the stock pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 mins. You can add boiling water to the soup if you would like more liquid.
6. Wash and roughly chop the cavolo nero. Add to the minestrone just before you are ready to serve.
7. Taste the minestrone and season to taste.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Maitland is the co-founder of 'The Evolved Way.’ A personal trainer with over 10 years’ experience, he has worked alongside a wide range of leading CEOs, entrepreneurs and medical professionals. John is a keen athlete and holds a black belt in Shaolin Kung fu. A fan of the great outdoors, he can often be found exploring the British countryside and mountains...or breaking pine boards with his fingers.