There are many variations of a hearty and nutritious minestrone soup, and it’s super simple to tweak based on what vegetables you may have on hand. The classic minestrone is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables and pasta and/or rice. However, there is no set recipe for minestrone; it can be vegetarian or not and you can totally leave out the grain as well! The one thing that should stay constant is the borlotti beans (aka Roman beans) to make for a genuine minestrone.
Gordon Ramsay is one of my favourite chef’s. I often flip through his cookbooks to find inspiration when cooking and must say he has an amazing authentic Minestrone recipe. I usually follow his lead on this one and adapt as I go along, usually minus the back bacon and pasta (see my variation below).
Minestrone (yields 4-6 servings)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle (optional)
2 onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
himalayan sea salt
ground black pepper
fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
80g smoked back bacon/pancetta, trimmed of fat and chopped (I often leave this out)
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 x 400g tins romano beans, rinsed and drained
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
600-800ml vegetable stock or water
large handful of basil, finely shredded
parmesan, for grating (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot, add onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Stir frequently over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
Add the thyme, bay leaf and bacon. Increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another minute.
Add in the romano beans and cherry tomatoes, then pour in the stock or water to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Now here’s an oldie, but a goodie. This cabbage soup recipe was probably one of the first soups that I really ever liked, next to the classic chicken noodle. There’s nothing fancy and there aren’t any frills with this recipe, yet it is so hearty and comforting that it makes it a true favourite of mine. The way the flavours blend just feel so right on a cold fall/winter day. Plus this recipe makes enough to last you a season!
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 tsp oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/2-1 tsp himalayan sea salt
1 1/2 tsp paprika
28 oz. can of diced tomoatoes
4 cups hot water
2 beef bouillion cubes
2 tbsp parsley flakes
2 cup raw potatoes, diced
1 cup carrots, chopped
6 cups or less of cabbage, chopped coarsely
ground pepper to taste
In a large pot, sauté ground beef, onion, celery and pepper until redness in meat is gone.
Add in the rest of the ingredients (except cabbage), simmer, uncovered for 1 hour
Add cabbage, cover and simmer for 1 hour. If soup is too thick add in more hot water.
A handful of simple ingredients makes for a healthy soup loaded with flavour. This tomato soup is one that you can’t really screw up. I’ve made it time and time again and it always turns out deliciously good! However, I felt my mother was a tad uncertain when I started to wing a recipe in the midst of our organized soup marathon. But to her delight and at no real surprise, I did great and to quote “this is the best tomato soup I’ve ever had”.
Here’s the dish and don’t be too worried about the measurements, you can’t really go wrong when combining these ingredients. The real trick here is roasting cherry tomatoes until they get a bit carmelized but be careful not to burn them.
Roasted Tomato Soup (yields 6-8 servings)
6 pints of cherry tomatoes
2-4 tbsp of olive oil
1-2 cooking onions
4 cloves of garlic
handful of basil
handful of parsley
28 oz. can of peeled san marzano tomatoes (plum work well too!)
900 ml vegetable broth
himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
Drizzle cherry tomatoes with olive oil and roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
While tomatoes are roasting, heat olive oil on low and sauté onion + garlic until soft.
Add basil and/or parsley to onion and garlic.
Add in can of tomatoes.
Once tomatoes are roasted add to pot + vegetable broth.
It’s that time of year again when I like to stock pile my freezer full of warm cozy soups! It has become tradition that each year, my mom and I plan a weekend full of Fall things and soup making is always top of the list.
We made our lists, hit up the local market, made an action plan, cranked the tunes and got our cook on! Our organization and quick kitchen artistry was so on point. Seriously, our soup game was so strong that we cranked out a selection of 7 soups for the season. I’ll be sure to share you these recipes over the next couple weeks.
2 tbsp earth balance butter (or unsalted butter/margarine of choice)
2-3 leeks (white and light green parts only), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 900 ml package of vegetable broth (don’t be afraid to add more if needed)
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp himalayan sea salt (to taste)
1 tsp ground pepper (to taste)
Place cauliflower on parchment lined baking sheet; drizzle with oil. Roast in oven at 425 F, turning occasionally, until very deep golden on all sides, about 45 minutes to an hour. The darker you roast it the richer the taste will be. Just do not burn!
In soup pot, melt butter over medium heat; cook leeks and garlic, stirring, until leeks are softened, about 8-10 minutes.
Add in dijon and mix.
Add in vegetable broth + roasted cauliflower. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Use hand blender to puree the cauliflower and leek mixture. Blend until smooth. Add more broth if needed.