Winter Minestrone

Now that we’re reaching the end of January, the days are slowly but surely starting to stretch.  There are hyacinths on my windowsills and I’ve noticed  a few snowdrops starting to push out of the frozen ground.  It’d be easy to believe that spring is almost here but there’s fresh snow in my garden and  I’m still walking Marco in the dark before and after work.  That tells me we have a while to go yet.

One of the bright sides of this is more weeks to make and eat this soup.  Can’t get enough of it just now.  I’ve been making the ham stock version but the veggie version is great too.  Just don’t omit the parmesan rind.  It’s absolutely essential, imho.  :)

Winter Minestrone

(serves 6)

Splash of olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 rashers of trimmed back bacon (optional)

1 carrot, chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped

1/2 small turnip (swede to all you non-Scots – the yellowy one)

Sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

Bay leaf

Tin of tomatoes

1.5 litre ham stock (or vegetable)

1 rind of parmesan

400g tin of haricot or butter beans

100g wholemeal spaghetti

1 head of spring greens, sliced finely

  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan.  Add the onion and bacon and cook for 5 mins.  Add the carrot, celery, fennel and turnip and cook over a medium heat for another 10 mins until veg is beginning to soften.
  • Add the bay and rosemary.  Stir well.  Add the tomatoes, ham stock and parmesan rind.  Simmer for 5 mins before adding the spaghetti, beans and greens. 
  • Simmer until the spagetti is cooked.
  • Remove the parmesan rind and serve.

7 thoughts on “Winter Minestrone

  1. mmm love minestrone – made a pasta lentil and veg stew which I think is like minestrone last week – good any time of year – just brought lots of spaghetti so should try some in soup instead of short pasta

  2. I posted on my blog about making this soup for the weekend, too! We ended up with several inches of snow, so it was excellent soup weather. Thanks for sharing your recipie!

  3. Hmmmmm, Minestrone :-)
    Definitely one of my favourite soups of all time.
    The tip with the Parmesan rind in soup is fantastic… I only learnt about this a few months ago when making a wonderfully rich sweet potato & carrot soup for Xmas.

    I read somewhere once that there’s actually no “real” recipe for Minestrone. Italians just use whatever they have in their storecupboard.

  4. Pingback: Chorizo, Spinach and Chickpea Soup | A Wee Bit of Cooking

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