Do you ever feel like your fridge is judging you at the end of the week?
You start the week with good intentions: you go to the supermarket, fill your cart up with fresh fruit 🍏 and vegetables 🥕, stay away from the biscuit aisle, and yet, by the end of the week, the fresh veg in your fridge is staring at you, wondering when it’s going to get used.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone!
Don’t feel too bad about it, you’re only human: willpower is a finite matter, and we all lose some of it over the course of the day/week.
Enter: the good intentions minestrone soup!
Minestrone is a classic of the Italian tradition: a thick, comforting vegetable soup that’s easy to prepare and easier to eat!
It’s a simple way to use up all the leftover veg from the week, prepare a yummy and nutritious meal for the whole family, and ensure everybody at home eats a healthy dose of vegetables.
Perfect for the cold weather and long nights that are just around the corner
Let’s step into the kitchen and get started!
1 large white onion
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups of chopped vegetables from your fridge: courgette, green beans, squash, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli…the sky really is the limit here. Just make sure you peel and chop to roughly the same size
1 15 oz can of beans (any kind), lentils or chickpeas
1 28 oz can of chopped tomato
1 tsp of dried thyme
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 bay leaf (optional)
3 tbsp of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of frozen peas (optional)
4 cups of water with bouillon cubes or homemade broth
1 cup of small pasta shapes
Peel and chop the onions, mince the garlic, peel all your vegetables and chop them to the same size. Set aside carrots, onion and celery together.
In a big saucepan, warm up the olive oil, then add onion, carrot and celery. Let them sauté for a few minutes, stirring often, then add the minced garlic.
Cook for 2 more minutes, then add the rest of your vegetables. Stir and let them cook for a few minutes together, paying attention that nothing sticks to the bottom of your pan.
Add the chopped tomatoes from the can, your water or broth, the beans or chickpeas (remember to drain and rinse first!), spices, salt and pepper. Stir a few times, ensure everything is combined well. Turn the heat up to bring your soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the soup simmer until all the veg seems to have softened a bit (say 30 minutes). Keep checking your pot to make sure it’s simmering and not boiling.
If a lot of your water has evaporated, add a bit more before the last step.
Finally, add your pasta, and cook for the recommended amount of time on the packet. When your pasta is almost done, add in the frozen peas (if using), and cook for 2 more minutes.
And you’re done! You’ve made your family a delicious and nutritious soup to warm everybody up from the inside on a cold, winter night. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Ladle in bowls, garnish with more olive oil and parmesan cheese, put your feet up and enjoy! 🍲