How can you fall in love with a soup based on a dry packet mix? Well, that’s how my enduring tryst with minestrone soup began.
Thankfully my palate is more discerning these days and I’m happy to create from scratch.
The great thing about minestrone is that you can put whatever you want in it – if you don’t like beans, leave them out. If you’re feeling fancy, add some pasta. It’s all about being creative and experimenting.
Here’s a recipe from Baker Street for a vegetarian minestrone soup, but feel free to switch it up to suit your tastes. And if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for a week or freeze them for later. Just keep in mind that veggies can get a little soft after freezing, and pasta doesn’t hold up well in the freezer.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
For the croutons
4-6 slices white sliced bread
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the soup
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 or 2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and diced (approx 15 mm)
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped
500ml vegetable stock (made with 1 stock cube)
1 courgette, diced
1 red or yellow pepper, diced
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tins cannellini beans
½ tsp dried oregano
50g small pasta shapes (we used mini stars)
¼ savoy cabbage or kale, chopped
Minestrone soup method
1) Make the soup. In a large lidded saucepan, gently fry the onion, celery, carrot and potato in 1 tbs oil for 5 minutes, stirring all the time
2) Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds then pour over the stock.
3) Add the courgette, pepper, tomatoes, beans and oregano. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to minimum and pop on the lid. Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender
4) While the soup is simmering make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cut the bread into cubes approx 15-20mm and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crunchy
5) Add the cabbage or kale and pasta shapes to the soup and simmer for another 6-8 minutes depending on the pasta. Turn off the heat as soon as the pasta is al dente as it will keep cooking in the hot soup
6) Scatter the parsley over the soup and serve into warm bowls, then top with a generous pile of croutons
If you liked reading Minestrone soup with white beans and croutons – a meat-free twist on the classic Italian dish, you’ll find more healthy vegetarian recipes on our Food and Drink channel.
For more information visit Baker Street.Last modified: January 28, 2023