I hope that weather at your end of the world is nicer than ours, because here in Ireland, winter is far from over. Every time it seems that the days are getting warmer, we are hit by another cold wave and freezing winds which tell us otherwise.
The silver lining is that the soup season is still going on. There is nothing more satisfying than a bowl of piping hot tasty soup on a cold afternoon. For me, the classic Minestrone tops the list of my favourite soups to make and eat in Winters. Many of the weekends, we swap lunch for a huge pot of Minestrone soup loaded with lots and lots of veggies. It is healthy, de-toxing and at the same time, so so delicious. What’s not to love?
Now don’t hate me for saying that I am not a fan of Pasta in my Minestrone soup. I won’t discard it because of it but it just seems a little bit unecessary when the bowl is packed with such a great a variety of vegetables and flavors already…but hey! that’s just me. Most people around me lovvve pasta in their soup, so I will shut up about that now.
Another thing to note while making Minestrone is that we add some veggies at the very beginning and others eventually in the end. That is of course because of how fast or slow they cook in a soup and thus, we add them accordingly. Finely chop all the veggies for this particularly soup for the best results. Also Chicken stock is a favorite for this soup but if you are a vegetarian, you will get good results by adding vegetable stock as well.
This recipe is a must-try one if you are a fan of Minestrone. I learnt it at a cooking class I took last year and have stuck hard with it since then.
Here’s wishing for a hopefully fast approaching Spring season full of sunshine and blooms for all of us across the globe. Have a wonderful week ahead friends! Enjoy! xx
2 tbsn Olive Oil
2-3 pods of peeled Garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 cups of a mix of finely chopped veggies- Carrots, Mushrooms, celery, Leeks (white and green parts)
1/4 cup finely chopped Green beans
1/4 cup finely chopped Cauliflower
2 finely chopped baby potatoes (peeled)
1 tsp Butter
A sprig of Thyme
2 tbsn Chopped Parsley (Leaves and stalk)
1 heaped tsp Tomato puree
1 can of chopped Tomatoes
1 cup of Chicken stock or Vegetable stock
A stick of Lemongrass
1 tbsn Lemon juice
Parmesan shavings for garnish
Boiled pasta of your choice (Optional)
Salt & freshly cracked Black Pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat 2 tbsn Olive oil.
Add minced garlic and fry for a few seconds.
Add the diced Onions and cook for around a minute until they sweat and only lightly change their color.
Throw in your finely chopped veggies- Mushrooms, Carrots, Leeks and Celery. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Add your Butter, Bay-leaf and Thyme. Mix well till the Butter melts.
Add the chopped Parsley and saute for 30 seconds.
Next, add your heaped spoon of Tomato puree and mix well.
Then, pour in your can of chopped tomatoes + the chicken/vegetable stock. Cover and let simmer for 7-8 minutes.
Add the chopped Potatoes, Green beans and cauliflower. Add one cup of water and bring to boil. Put back on simmer till these veggies soften up. Keep adding more water or stock if necessary.
Bash in the lemon grass and add to the soup. Also add the lemon-juice and seasonings. Add the boiled pasta if using.
Serve the piping hot Minestrone soup with Parmesan shavings and Bread of your choice. Enjoy!