I’ll happily eat soup as a meal and be satisfied, but for those who want something more – the minestrone soup is the answer. It’s got chunky veggies, protein in beans plus noodles. It’s like a legit meal, right? It’s also a great budget meal, made up of standard vegetables and a few other basic ingredients.
Minestrone soup is one of the most high maintenance soup to make as it requires perfectly chopped tiny vegetables. I like to make a bigger batch at once, so I can get all the fine dicing done in one go. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to a week. If you’re storing it, keep the soup and noodles separate – that way you can just reheat the soup without over-cooking the noodles. You can also leave out the noodles and serve with some crusty bread. When reheating, add a little more water – I find the water tends to “burn out” during the warm up, which leaves more veggies than soup.
You can play around with the vegetable, any root vegetables work. So you can add in sweet potato or turnips and take out what you don’t have.
- 1 medium Leek
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 potatoes
- 2 turnips
- 4 carrots
- 5 baby marrows
- 1 small butternut squash
- 2 cans tomatoes whole / chopped
- 1 packet tomato paste
- 1 tbsp vegetable stock
- 10 cups water
- 1 can white beans
- 2 cups noodles
- 2 cups shredded Kale
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash the leek. Cut it in half lengthways, and slice it into thin slices. (the slices go along the length so you get half circle slices)
- Peel the carrots, potatoes, turnips and butternut. Remove the seeds from the butternut. Wash the baby marrow well. Chop all the vegetables into small squares.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add the leeks and cook on low for 5-8 minutes, until it is soft and translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables, mix and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Combine the vegetable stock powder with the water. Add to the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste and reduce to a simmer. Add in some salt and pepper. Cook for 45-60 minutes, until the vegetables are nice and tender. You do not want them too soft or it will be a “mushy” minestrone.
- While the soup is cooking, prepare the kale. Wash well and then remove the stems. Cut into thin strips and set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
- When the soup is done. Rinse the beans and add them into the pot along with the kale. Cook for another 5 minutes so the kale can soften.
- Serve with noodles or crusty bread
- If you’re reheating the soup, add a little bit of water first as the water reduces when you reheat it.
- If you’re storing some soup, keep the noodles and soup separate so you can just warm the soup and add in the noodles, so they don’t overcook.