It's winter in my part of the world. The days are shrouded in fog and mist and the nights are chilly and dry. These days, you can find me drinking piping hot rasam Rather than eating it with rice. Evenings are spent curling up on my favorite couch and sipping on coffee or tea. Apart from all these, I am constant looking out for recipes that will warm up my cockles. This soup was a result of one of those searches.
The minestrone soup which literally means "big soup" is one of those classic winter soups that will instantly warm you up to the bones. A tomato based soup, that can be made without any set recipe. Yes!! It's true. Just throw in a lot of veggies and beans and some pasta into the tomato broth and soup is done. Isn't that simple? I think with this soup, you can't really go wrong. The only thing you have to pay attention to, is not let the vegetables get mushy. They have to be tender but never over cooked.
The best part about this soup is that, you can vary the vegetables that go into it. Don't be afraid to include left over greens or beans into it. This soup is a great way to empty the vegetable bin in the refrigerator.
Since this soup is filled with vegetables, cheese, beans, and pasta, it can make a complete meal all by itself. Just pair this with some sliders or any crusty bread and I assure you. You will the most hearty and a nourishing meal ever.
Chunky Minestrone Soup recipe:
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 15mins
Macaroni or fussili pasta- 2tbsps, cooked and drained
Olive oil- 2tbsps
Bay leaf- 1
Onion- 1 med, finely chopped
Garlic- 2 cloves, crushed
Tomato- 1 med, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Black Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Paprika powder- 1/2tsp
Tomato puree- 1/2 cup
Carrot- 1 small, cut into cubes
French beans- 3-4, cut into cubes
Finely chopped Cabbage- 2tbsp
Red Kidney beans- 3tbsp, cooked and drained
Sweet corn kernels- 2tbsps
Red, yellow or green bell peppers- 2 tbsp, diced
Dried mixed herbs- 1/4tsp
Parmesan cheese to garnish
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add the bay leaf and the chopped onions and fry till the onion turns pink.
- Add the crushed garlic and fry till the raw smell goes. Stir in the chopped tomato and fry for a min till it turns soft.
- Add the salt, pepper, Paprika powder and the chopped vegetables and fry for two mins more. Add half a cup of water and allow the vegetables to cook till tender.
- Stir in the red kidney beans, sweet corn kernels and the tomato puree and allow the mixture to cook for 3-4min more.
- Add the cooked pasta and cook for a minute more and take off the heat.
- Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with shaved or grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
- If you feel that the soup is a little too thick, then add more water or stock till you get the desired consistency.