Minestrone soup recipe

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  • Healthy
  • Nut-free
serves: 4
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
5-a-day: 1
Prep: 10 min
Cooking: 20 min

Nutrition per portion

RDA
Calories 190 kCal 10%
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  • A quick, chunky soup that will warm and fill you up at lunch or dinner time.

    This minestrone soup only takes 30 minutes to make and the result is a lovely, satisfying soup for four. It’s so chunky and filling, with the addition of orzo pasta, that it makes a good weeknight dinner. If you have any leftovers, you can always have them for lunch the following day. It’s originally Italian – the word minestrone simply means thick soup. And there’s no set recipe for a ‘traditional’ minestrone soup – it changes according to what’s in season and personal taste. If you’re cooking for vegetarians, simply leave out the meat, or add in some extra chopped veg. Feel free to use frozen vegetables to make it cheaper, or swap out-of-season items in-season substitutes, which will be cheaper and more nutritious.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
    • 500g carton passata (tomato sauce)
    • 150g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    • 60g (2oz) orzo (rice-shaped) pasta
    • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
    • Good pinch of dried oregano
    • About 125g (4oz) cooked vegetables, eg, carrots and parsnips, chopped
    • About 100g (3½oz) cooked meat — we used gammon
    • Handful of cooked cabbage or kale
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    • Put the oil and onion in a large pan, and cook for about 5 mins until the onion is soft.

    • Add the passata, plus 500ml (16fl oz) water, the beans, pasta, a crumbled stock cube and the oregano.

    • Bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and cooked meat. Heat through and serve topped with shredded, cooked cabbage that’s also been heated through, in a microwave. Season and serve.

    Top tip for making minestrone soup

    You can use bacon or lardons, and add a can of tomatoes instead of passata, and substitute rice for the pasta.

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