Winter climates call for winter dishes. Meals that, as my Grandmother would say; “warm the cockles of your heart.” My favourite warming dish is soup. I love how simple they are to make, yet how delicious and flavourful they can be.
It’s been a real iceberg or a week here in Melbourne. I’ve shivered my way all over town. So, this weekend I decided to make my favourite go to, simple soup recipe. Minestrone Soup. This traditional Italian soup is my favourite because it’s bursting with flavour, and full to the brim with nutritious vegetables like zucchini and carrot, that at this time of year is vital for an efficient immune system to warn off the cold and flu season. Full of minerals like magnesium and potassium and zinc, and vitamins such as Vitamin A and C, a soup like this is a winter essential.
I like to make my own vegetable stock for this soup. It’s so simple to do but requires a lot of your time. If I’m whipping up a quick batch i tend to buy the carton kind of vegetable stock. This weekend I found myself with a whole day to tinker around the kitchen, so I made the stock from scratch.
You don’t need to buy anything extra for the stock. I just use the off cuts and peels from all the vegetables going into the soup. I add a couple of bay leaves, some salt and pepper, and whatever herbs I have on hand. This batch it was corander and a bit of basil. Throw everything in the pot with enough water to cover the vegetables, bring to the boil and simmer for about an hour. The great thing about making your own stock is that once its all in the pot, you can walk away and do other things, like chop up the veggies for the Minestrone, and then sit outside and enjoy the Autumn sunshine like I did when my stock was brewing.
I tend to make a batch of soup on Sunday’s in the cooler months to take to work for lunch for the week ahead. Easily transported in some tupperware, pair your soup with a good quality sourdough or chia bread, and enjoy as a regular item in your weekly meal plan. Your body will love you for it!
- 5 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 tin of diced tomatoes
- 1 medium brown onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 zucchinis
- 3 carrots
- 4 red potatoes
- 1/2 a cup of cannellini beans
- 1/2 a head celery
- 1/4 cup of quinoa
- 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- Herb of your choice to garnish the soup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Dice the onion and garlic and shop al of the vegetables into small pieces.
- Fry off the onion and garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil until the onion is clear, then add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Add the vegetables except the beans and the potatoes, stirring frequently for two minutes.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and stir through, simmer for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the stock, chilli and oregano, cover and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, cover again and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Add the cannellini beans and quinoa, cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked through.
- Add more salt and pepper until you are happy with the flavour.
- Serve and garnish with your favourite herb.
- Enjoy! Serves 4.