Minestrone SoupServes: 4-6 people
A soup for all seasons – simply adjust the beans and vegetables accordingly. Borlotti or kidney beans make a thick hearty soup while lentils of navy beans are a little lighter. You can use canned beans but the flavour is much richer if you cook the beans yourself. This recipe is for a winter version.
1 cup dried beans soaked overnight in 3 cups of water
small piece kombu or wakame soaked and cut into strips
1-2 cloves garlic minced
2 small onions diced
1 stalk celery cut fine
2 small carrots diced
1 small parsnip
2 small potatoes or a cup of pumpkin cubed
1 cup broccoli in florets or a small bunch of baby kale leaves
1/2 cup small dried pasta or broken spaghetti or 1 cup cooked barley or brown rice
4-6 cups vegetable stock or water (use liquid from cooking the beans)
parmesan cheese for garnish
parsley for garnish
Drain the beans and bring to the boil in fresh water. Simmer of 1 and a half hours with bayleaf until soft. Don't allow to dry out. Season with salt and set aside. (This step can be done earlier).
In a large saucepan, add oil and sauté onion, garlic and celery on a low heat until soft. Add the beans, stock and the remainder of the vegetables, except the greens, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Next add the pasta or grain and salt and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Add the broccoli or cut kale and continue cooking until greens are done. If necessary adjust seasoning and serve garnished with parsley and freshly grated parmesan in a bowl.