Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Minestrone soup

We love this hearty minestrone soup full of healthy vegetables, pasta and bacon, perfect for a cold winters night.

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 rashers middle bacon, rind removed, chopped
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups salt-reduced vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup Vetta small shell dried pasta
400g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add bacon, onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion has softened and bacon is golden. 
2. Add stock, tomato paste, tomato and 1 cup cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Add pasta, beans, zucchini and peas. Simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in basil. Top with cheese. Serve.

Spice up your minestrone by using 4 slices of spicy pancetta instead of the bacon.

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