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Minestrone with Vegetables of the Moment

MINESTRONE

When I make minestrone I vary the vegetables I use depending on what I can get in the market that day. 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 GREAT ABOUT IT

Fennel is a wonderful vegetable for digestive support and can help with gastrointestinal disturbances such as indigestion or bloating. Carrot is a 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. 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.

+ ingredients & methods +

ingredients (Serves 4)

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)

method

  1. Sauté onions, smoked paprika, fennel, garlic, celery and carrot in a little olive oil for 5 minutes in a large pot.
  2. Wash cavolo nero and roughly chop the leaves then add them to the large pot.
  3. Add chopped tomato, beans and water to just cover the vegetables.
  4. Bring to the boil – cover and simmer over a low heat for 20  – 30 minutes until thick and carrots are tender.
  5. Season with a little black pepper and sea salt and fold in the parsley.
  6. Serve in bowls and enjoy with a spoonful of pesto and grated Parmesan.
+ notes & inspiration +

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.

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, cannellini beans, broad beans and edamame beans.
Add a hint of chilli for a little heat.
Enjoy alone or with whole grain sourdough

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