Healthy minestrone soup
Tom Kerridge's minestrone is perfect for filling your family up with healthy vegetables and helping them towards their five-a-day. It freezes well and makes great leftovers.
This meal when served as six portions provides 321 kcal, 17g protein, 27g carbohydrate (of which 8.5g sugars), 16.5g fat (of which 7g saturates), 6g fibre and 1.7g salt per portion.
- splash olive oil
- 200g/7oz streaky bacon or lean back-bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 6 celery stalks, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 potatoes, such as Maris Peer potatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 bouquet garni
- 0.75 litres/1½ pints reduced-salt vegetable stock
- 3 courgettes, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 large handful soup pasta
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked and starting to brown.
Add the carrots, celery, garlic and onions and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the potatoes and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, bouquet garni and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Add the courgettes and soup pasta and return to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan with the lid, then simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Discard the bouquet garni.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, then sprinkle over the parsley and Parmesan.
Tip 1: This soup is ideal for using up any odds and ends of pasta – just place it all in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin until roughly the same size.
Tip 2: You can use this recipe as a base for any soup - vegetables that are in season are usually the cheapest and tastiest.
Tip 3: A bouquet garni is a bunch of fresh herbs – 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 fresh bay leaf, and 1 sprig of thyme, tied together with cooking string. It can be bought ready-made.
Tip 4: Make up a big batch of soup, even if you’re only cooking for yourself – the rest can be chilled in the fridge or frozen in portions for future meals.