Recipe: Chunky Minestrone Soup

So, for my first recipe post of 2013 I thought I would not share with you one of the new recipes for the New Year I’ve been working on (though there are a lot to come, I promise you!), but something I worked a lot on, and ate several vats of in one incarnation of another throughout the entire month of December. While I feel its flavours and general structure are more suited to the month of January anyway; my Chunky Minestrone Soup. My mother makes a lovely minestrone soup, and because she has far superior knife skills to me, everything is cut up really tiny. I adore her soup, but I wanted to create one that was better suited to my personal skill set. I also wanted one that paid more attention to pasta. You can never have enough pasta. 


How many this recipe serves is really up to you and your personal preferences; I get about three of these big bowls out of a pot, or four small bowls. It also freezes surprisingly well. Before we move onto the ingredients and the instructions, a little more on the pasta. In minestrones soup, traditionally the pasta pieces are miniatures of traditional soups, but as I can never get enough of them in my soup, that is why I used regular pasta, but of course feel free to use the little shapes if you prefer. If you don’t want to use full sized shapes, but don’t want to go through the hassle of buying any, broken spagetti works really well. 

  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Celery Sticks
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • 2 Courgettes (Zucchini) 
  • 1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes 
  • 1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube, in 6 Cups Water
  • 100g Pasta Shapes
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper

Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot and gently fry in the olive oil in a very large saucepan for about 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened, but not browned. Cut the courgettes into quarters lengthways  then chop and add to the pan with the thyme (leave it on the sprig), the bay leaf, the sugar , the crushed garlic and the tomato puree. Stir well so the puree coats all the vegetables and cook for a few minutres until the courgette has softened slightly. Add the stock and the chopped tomatoes and season really well with the salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat. Allow the soup to simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Add the pasta, cover and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Season again, then serve with the addition of torn basil leaves over the top of each bowl if you wish and with crusty bread. 

Let me know what you think, and if you’re hunting for any more soup recipes to chase out the January blues, check out my Basic Chicken Soup. I make it even more than I have been making this Minestrone!