Best most flexible minestrone soup

Welcome to New Year and I’m sure you’re keen to be doing something… well something better at least! We all know the feeling but are often so overwhelmed about where exactly to start.

These days we’re bombarded by so much conflicting and confusing health information, should I go vegan, paleo, keto… blah blah. No wonder we all get demotivated and end up running for the nearest plate of nachos.

A few years ago, I realized the only way I would be able to reclaim my health was to adopt a common sense approach focusing on whole real foods and no fads. I cut out all the weird stuff that my body couldn’t deal with and I couldn’t even pronounce. Then focused on proper real food that tasted fantastic and made me feel great!

In this space I will share all my best tips, cheats and recipes gathered over the last decade. I’ve tried everything – so now you don’t have to.

So, if you’re wondering where to begin, let’s start with one of my basics and a fantastic winter recipe.

I was always a pro at falling off the health wagon at lunchtime, getting too hungry and then tempted by whatever high fat, high sugar offering I could grab in town. Now having something home-made and ready to go at work is a lifesaver and produces an excellent smug feeling that you’re winning at lunch and healthy living!

A favourite go-to in winter is always soup – easy to make, portable and handy to have in the fridge if you’re back late. This Minestrone never fails – so give it a go.

Don’t worry too much about which vegetables you use here or if you don’t have them all. This is a super flexible recipe which will easily cope with more or less of anything!

My Minestrone Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 3 sticks celery, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500g pack passata
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1½ tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tin haricot/cannellini beans (or whichever type you fancy)
  • 1 litre water
  • 4 tsp Marigold vegan stock power
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • ¼ medium savoy cabbage, shredded

Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, carrots, leeks, celery, pepper and garlic and cook gently for about 5 minutes until slightly softened.

Next add all the other ingredients except the savoy cabbage, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until everything is tender.

Add the shredded cabbage and then cook for a further 10 mins. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick.

Taste, then season if needed.

If you have any fresh herbs on the windowsill, serve with some shredded fresh basil or parsley.

Pimp it up…

  • If you’re doing meat – try adding a few pieces of chopped bacon and chorizo with the olive oil.
  • If you’re doing grains – add some small pieces of pasta or micro pasta shapes – good crowd pleaser with the kids 😊
  • If you’re doing dairy – shave some parmesan over the top to serve.

Make it even easier…

If you have a slow-cooker kicking about at the back of the cupboard pop everything in and cook on high for 3/4 hours or low for 6/7.

Then sit back and enjoy…

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