Autumn Minestrone

There are many variations on minestrone soup from different regions in Italy. What goes into the soup also depends on the season with vegetables such as broad beans in the summer and pumpkin in Autumn. It is easy to vary the ingredients to what is best when you prepare the soup, just add the quick cooking vegetables near the end of the cooking. This a hardy dish and makes a great meal on a cold night.

Autumn Minestrone

Portions: 6-8 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 50-60 minutes

Ingredients

Minestrone

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sticks of celery, sliced into small even pieces
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 300g pumpkin or butternut squash, deseeded, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 100g button, mushrooms, diced
  • 300g courgette, diced
  • 2 tbsp oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.2 litres of boiling chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g can of diced plum tomatoes
  • 400g can cannellini bean
  • 150g cavolo nero or kale, finely shredded and diced
  • 150g very small pasta eg. gnocchetti
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g pesto sauce
  • 100g freshly grated parmesan

Method

  1. Minestrone: Place the olive oil in a very large saucepan or casserole container over a moderate heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery to the pan and cook them gently for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and transparent. Stir in the potato, pumpkin, mushrooms, courgette, bay leaf and oregano and gently cook them for a couple of minutes, stirring them regularly with a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour the boiling stock into the pan and stir in the plum tomatoes. Bring the mixture to the boil then reduce it to a slow simmer and leave it to cook gently for 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in the cannellini beans and the cavolo nero or kale. Continue to cook the minestrone for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are hot and tender.
  4. Bring some water to boil in a separate saucepan and add the pasta to it. Cook the pasta until tender then strain it and set it aside.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the soup and stir in the pesto and parmesan, stir the soup so that all the ingredients are well combined.
  6. To Serve: Season the soup to taste and serve the soup drizzled with a little olive oil. Place extra pesto and parmesan on the table for guests to add to their taste.