Summer Minestrone

All weather minestrone


Prep: 20mins  Cooking: ~45mins

1 T extra virgin olive oil

4 C water, Vegetable stock OR my preference [2 C chicken stock with 2 C water for a very light soup, or pure chicken stock for a heartier version]

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

[instead of above onion and garlic, I use 1/2tsp chilli flakes and 1tsp fennel seed]

1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

250g waxy potatoes, cut into small 1cm (1/2inch) cubes

2 small carrots, cut into 1cm pieces

[I often add a fennel bulb that has been cut into 1cm (1/2inch) dice and/or celery for extra flavour]

3 large Roma tomatoes, cut into 1cm pieces (the original recipe says to peel and seed them, but I cannot be bothered)

[in winter I use good quality organic tinned tomatoes with juice instead of the tasteless winter tomatoes, this makes a heartier soup for colder weather]

1/2C fresh corn kernels

1C shelled or frozen peas

250g stringless green beans, topped and cut into 3cm pieces

2 heaped T shredded basil

sea salt

Crusty  bread to serve

1. Combine oil and onion in a large pan and cook over moderate heat until soft, for about 5mins, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and cook for a further 1min.

2. Add potatoes, carrots and fennel, if using, also salt and chilli flakes and fennel seed if using, and cook covered for about 20-30 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.

3. Add tomatoes, cannellini beans, corn, peas and green beans and cook a further 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Immediately before serving scatter with basil and drizzle with olive oil.