Celebrate the end of winter with one last bowl of nourishing soup to farewell this season’s best. This is actually more a meal than a soup. I love to make this when I have a glut of vegetables in the fridge or if I’m after a hearty, but simple warming meal. Another delicious and nutritious one pot wonder.
The sheer variety of seasonal vegetables combined with cannellini beans is enough to make this a very healthy, fibre loaded meal. If you use a homemade bone broth for the stock, then you are going to derive even more nutrition from this minestrone. For more about the healing powers of bone broth, see here.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit many specific dietary requirements.
Winter Minestrone soup
- 1 onion/s (large) peeled and finely diced
- 2 clove/s garlic -peeled and chopped
- 4 rasher/s bacon -diced
- 2 carrot/s -peeled and diced
- 2 stick/s celery -sliced
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves -leaves picked and stems finely chopped
- 800 g diced tinned tomatoes
- 100 ml red wine
- 1 zucchini/s (large) diced
- 425 g can cannellini beans -drained and well rinsed
- 200 g silver beet or spinach leaves -well washed and chopped
- 600 ml chicken stock or bone broth
- 50 g spaghetti -broken into pieces (put it in a plastic bag and break it up by hand or by bashing with a rolling pin)
- Start by cutting up all of your vegetables.
- In a large pot or saucepan, heat a little butter or ghee and over a low heat cook the onion, garlic, bacon, carrots, celery and basil stems. You are not frying, rather sweating the vegetables and bacon with the lid ajar for around 15-20 minutes until they are starting to soften (but not brown).
- Now add the tomatoes and red wine and simmer for about a further 5 minutes.
- Next, add the cannellini beans, silver beet or spinach, zucchini, spaghetti and stock.
- Turn up the heat to a moderate temperature and simmer until the spaghetti is cooked.
- Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with basil leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese. Leftovers can be frozen.
- Re-heat in a pot over a low heat until just hot.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.