What is more comforting than a bowl of minestrone, on a grey day like today?
This has been a staple of my childhood winters, my mum used to cook it for dinner and put all the leftover vegetables that she had at home.
As I was a very picky child, this was one of the few vegetable meals that I really liked, so my mum made it quite often.
This is a great meal if you want to load up on vegetables, with good amounts of fibre and provide you with hydration too.
Depending on the vegetables that you use, minestrone will provide different vitamins and minerals. Always remember to add a protein source, in this case I choose frozen peas and beans.
Time: 55 minutes
1 large potato
A handful of mushrooms
1 cup of frozen peas
A small bunch of green beans
2 beef tomatoes
5-6 leaves of cavolo nero
1 red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
3-4 sage leaves
2 bay leaves
Salt, pepper, olive oil
1 pack of beans of your choice (I like borlotti, but if you struggle to digest beans, you can try lentils instead), drained and rinsed.
-Start by cleaning all your vegetables (except the frozen peas), then chop them roughly. If you clean them properly, there is no need of peeling them, you can just trim the carrots and green beans.
-In a casserole, sweat onion and garlic with a little water (I do not usually cook with olive oil, but you could use ghee instead of water). Add all your vegetables and add enough cold water to cover them abundantly. Bring to boil.
-Add some salt, pepper and the herbs. Lower the flame and simmer for about 30 minutes (the time depends on the size of your chopped vegetables, bigger pieces will cook slightly longer), with the lid on. After 15 minutes check the minestrone, if the level of the liquids is lower than the vegetables, then add some extra boiled water. You want a soup-like consistency.
-Add the beans and adjust of salt, pepper, and chilli flakes. Cook for 15 more minutes.
-Serve in bowls with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
You can keep any leftover in the fridge for 3 days, just add some water when you reheat it to maintain the soup-like consistency. If you like, you could also add a fistful of cooked rice or other grain to minestrone.
Some people do not like the chunky consistency of minestrone, in this case you can easily blend it before you serve.