Minestrone with Vegetables of the Moment
When I make minestrone I vary the vegetables I use depending on what I can get in the market that day. This wonderful vegetable soup reflects the season – the vegetables of the moment that are clean and pure and that can be thrown into a large pot and simmered to perfection. I love minestrone because it’s a one pot meal that’s simple and nourishing and it can be enjoyed for a few days or until the pot is empty. I’ve used water not vegetable stock to make my soup as I find the flavours from the vegetables penetrate beautifully into the simmering broth and create a clean flavour that you will just love. I also enjoy serving it with a spoonful of pesto stirred through just before eating as this just lifts the flavour to another dimension. Enjoy x
What’s good about it:
Fennel is a wonderful vegetable for digestive support and can help with gastrointestinal disturbances such as indigestion or bloating. Carrot is great source of carotenoid antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and help to support a healthy immune system. Beans are a good source of protein that can help to repair the body and nourish the immune system. Beans also contain fibre that helps to delay glucose absorption keeping our blood sugar more stable as well as supporting healthy digestion and colon. Kale is rich in vitamins A, C and K and folic acid, as well as calcium, potassium, copper and iron. These nutrients are necessary for healthy bones, skin and eyes. Herbs such as parsley are full of superfood goodness that are anti-inflammatory to the body. Parsley is rich in chemoprotective oils that can help neutralise carcinogens as well as chlorophyll that is the single most critical substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert that light into usable energy. Chlorophyll helps to nourish the digestive system, support detoxification and elimination and helps to alkalinise the body. Garlic and black pepper are anti-inflammatory and can stimulate digestion.
2 onions, diced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sticks, celery, chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 large bunch Tuscan black cabbage (cavolo nero / kale ), sliced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
600 ml (21 fl oz) pureed tomato (fresh or tinned)
1 x 400 g tins cooked beans – I used borlotti beans
Sea salt + ground black pepper to taste
I litre (35 1/4 fl oz / 4 cups) water
Pesto to serve
Grated Parmesan to serve (optional)
Sauté onions, smoked paprika, fennel, garlic, celery and carrot in a little olive oil for 5 minutes in a large pot.
Wash cavolo nero and roughly chop the leaves then add them to the large pot.
Add chopped tomato, beans and water to just cover the vegetables.
Bring to the boil – cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 - 30 minutes until thick and carrots are tender.
Season with a little black pepper and sea salt and fold in the parsley.
Serve in bowls and enjoy with a spoonful of pesto and grated Parmesan.
Other vegetables of the moment can be added or swapped depending on availability and season.
Vegetables such as green peas, sweet corn, zucchini, capsicum, pumpkin, broccoli, leek, sweet potato can be added.
Great Serving suggestions:
Top the minestrone with chopped avocado just before serving.
Pump up the protein by adding extra beans or chopped skinless organic chicken when adding the stock.
Vary the beans you use and try black beans, cannelini beans, broad beans and edamame beans.
Add a hint of chili for a little heat.
Enjoy alone or with whole grain sourdough
Nutritional info per serve
Protein: 12.7 g
Total fat: 6.5 g
Saturated: 0.8 g
Carbs: 21 g
Sugars: 15 g
Fibre: 16 g