Minestrone is a classic Italian dish. It roughly translates as "the big soup", referring to the many ingredients that go into it. There is no definitive recipe for minestrone, as it usually incorporates whatever vegetables are in season, along with pasta and beans. Accordingly, feel free to substitute what you have in your cupboards for the vegetables in this dish. Serves 4 generous portions.
- 3 carrots, diced
- 4 celery, diced
- 2 large potatoes, diced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic gloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 400g butter beans
- 150g spaghetti
- 2l vegetable stock
- ½ head savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1 handful parsley
- salt and black pepper
- freshly grated parmesan to serve
Heat the oil in a very large pan. Add the onions, garlic and celery and cook until softened. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook over a high heat for a further 5 minutes until soft.
Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and stock, and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and put on a lid to simmer for 10 mins.
Add the beans and pasta and cook for a further 8 mins. Stir in the shredded cabbage and parsley for another 2-3mins. The soup is ready when the spaghetti is soft.
Season to taste and serve in large bowls with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan.