Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Minestrone Soup

Don't be discouraged by the amount of time this soup needs to simmer. It doesn't take long to prepare; you just need to start a little earlier and find something else to do while it's simmering. Oh, and it's very yummy.

  • 250g dried (or 1-2 400g tins) haricot/navy/borlotti/white beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 4 tomatoes peeled & chopped (or 1 400g tin)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley and some sprigs to garnish
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 8-9 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 turnip, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped green beans
  • 1 cup (80 g) macaroni elbows
  • salt and pepper
  • shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving

If using dried beans, prepare according to the directions on the packet . If using tinned beans, rinse and drain. Leave beans aside.

Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion, celery and carrot. Cover and cook over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, adding the garlic in the last few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, parsley, wine and stock, then cover and simmer for 1-2 hours. Add the turnip, potatoes, beans and tomato paste; simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.

Add the zucchini, green beans and macaroni. Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables and pasta are tender.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese and parsley to garnish.