As a young child, I was an incredibly fussy eater and vegetables were not my friend. My mum tried everything to get me to eat (or at least try) vegetables, but I often flatly refused unless they were covered in cheese, and even then, I'd still pick at my plate. I don't remember how old I was, but one day I was in bed with flu and my mum made me a bowl of this Minestrone soup. I ate everything and it soon became the only way I would eat any veggies for a long, long time.
My mum's homemade minestrone soup always had more carbs than vegetables in it (so that I would eat it I assume!), which makes it much more filling than the standard version, although many variations of minestrone exist and can be happily altered to accomodate all tastes. This is the recipe that I still stick to and will probably be how I'll always make a good bowl of my mum's minestrone soup.
- 300g can of cannellini beans, drained
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 gloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 large potatoes
- 150g dried spaghetti, broken into smaller pieces
- 50g petit pois or garden peas
- handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, carrots and garlic. Cover and cook on a low heat for around 20 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the vegetable stock and chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil and cover and simmer for around 15 minutes.
3. Then add the beans, potatoes and spaghetti, and bring back to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (but still retaining their form).
4. Stir in the parsley and basil, season to taste and serve with warm crusty rolls.