There is no one recipe for Italian minestrone, it’s a kind of soup – add whatever you have left in your fridge. The recipe I chose is from Mary Berry’s “Cookery Course”. Mary Berry is a famous in UK culinary book author, who was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to the culinary arts. Pretty good recommendation isn’t it?
Nevertheless, in our opinion, the soup requires additional seasoning. Oregano, basil, Provençal herbs, maybe a little tomato paste to enhance the slightly acidic tomato flavour. I like intensive tomato flavours. But if you don’t, chopped tomatoes will be enough for you. Also original recipe requires chicken broth, but traditionally I use beef bone broth, as a base for my every soup. So you can use any of these two.
For non diet option: use spaghetti, or other pasta you have at home.
For ketogenic option: skip pasta, flour and add some more veg (for example Brussels sprouts).
For vegan and vegetarian option: skip beef bone broth and use veggie broth instead, also for vegan instead of parmesan cheese use nutritional yeast.
Minestrone it’s a great option to use all the leftovers you have in your fridge or freezer. You can use all kind of vegetables (in brackets the amount of carbohydrates per 100g):
celery (1), carrots (7), parsnips (13), swede (3), turnip (6), celeriac (6), green beans (4), Brussel sprouts (5), leek (3), onion (8) and any kind of cabbage (3).
The soup is thick, fulfilling great as a warming winter breakfast or dinner if you work from home and you do not need a lot of calories. You can also use a slow cooker to make this soup, just pop the ingredients in, and after 3-4 hours you can enjoy this warming, colourful and thick soup (recipe for crock pot at the end).
Mary Berry inspired – minestrone soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion
- 1 medium carrot
- couple celery sticks
- 1 small leek
- 1 tbsp plain flour (skip for keto option)
- 1½ l beef bones broth (for vegan option use veggie broth)
- 400g (1 can) chopped tomatoes
- black pepper and natural rock salt to taste
- a handful of spaghetti broken into small pieces (skip for keto option)
- a handful of green beans, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces (I used frozen ones)
- a handful of chopped cabbage, e.g. savoy cabbage
- a little parmesan to sprinkle on top (skip for vegan option, or add nutritional yeast)
- optionally extra spices: oregano, basil or Provençal herbs
- optionally: 2 tsp tomato paste for some more tomato flavour
Dice onion, carrot and celery. Cut the green beans into smaller pieces, approx. 1 inch (2.5 cm). I used frozen one, if you have fresh, don’t forget to cut the ends and remove the tough fibres. Chop the cabbage quite finely.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Put onions, carrots, celery and leeks and fry them over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and mix. Add the broth, canned tomatoes, salt and pepper. If you use fresh green beans, add them right now. Also if you like more intensive seasoning add some oregano, basil or Provençal herbs. Bring to the boil, and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Finally, add spaghetti, if you have frozen green beans add them right now, and finally chopped cabbage. Give it a good stir and cook for another 10 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper if needed, also you can add little bit of tomato paste for more intensive flavour.
Serve hot, sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.
DIRECTIONS FOR SLOW COOKER
Pop in all ingredients apart from flour and pasta. Cook on “low” for about 3 hours, and then add pasta for another hour. I would skip the flour completely in slow cooker option. Also after adding pasta, it’s good to give it a good stir couple times, so the pieces of pasta won’t stick together.