Monday, 12 November 2012

Week 49- Minestrone Soup

Hi and welcome to our Vegetarian Kitchen.  This week our recipe is for another Italian classic - Minestrone Soup.   The most delicious Minestrone Soup I tasted was many years ago in a small Italian cafe tucked away behind Covent Garden. Covent Garden was London's fruit and vegetable market, opening around 1670, but today Covent Garden is famous for its restaurants, large central piazza, shops, fashionable boutiques and night life.  Our Minestrone will, of course, be made with Vegetable Stock.

(serves 6 to 8)


225g/8oz Can Red Kidney Beans  (drained)
1 Large Onion (choped)
2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
4 small carrots (finely chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
Quarter small cabbage (sliced)
1 tablespoon Tomato Puree
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
100g/4 oz) Macaroni
100g/4oz Frozen Peas
3 Pints Vegetable Stock (use Green Oxo or cubes of your choice)
1 teaspoon dried Basil (or Oregano)
Salt and Black Pepper


Heat the oil in a very large saucepan. Gently fry the onion, add garlic and celery. Add all the vegetables except the Red Kidney Beans and Peas which will be added later. Add stock  and stir thoroughly.  Stir in tomato puree, add herbs and salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, stir, then simmer for 20 minutes.
Now add the Macaroni, red kidney beans and cooked peas.  Bring back to boil.
Simmer for about 10 minutes until the Macaroni is tender.
Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Serve with wholemeal rolls or bread.
Real comfort food for a cold Autumn night.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Week 48- Italian Bean Soup With Pasta

Hi, and welcome to the Vegetarian Kitchen.  Autumn is still here, in all its glory and if you are lucky enough to have a park near you take a walk and see all the glowing colours - red, orange, gold and brown and after a walk what is more warming than soup? Bean soups are very popular in Italy and this is one of my favourites.  Of course the Italian cook would use dried beans, which would be soaked overnight, and then cooked the next day  but we see nothing wrong with using tinned beans.



400g (drained weight 240g) tin Black Eye Beans
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 onion chopped
3 cloves Garlic chopped or crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 litre vegetable stock (made with OXO Green or stock cube of your choice)
80g of tiny pasta shapes (eg shells)
Half teaspoon dried Oregano
Salt & Black Pepper
Grated Parmesan


Heat the oil in a large saucepan, gently fry the onion, add garlic, cook for a few minutes to soften.  Add the tomatoes and stir, add stock, oregano and salt and black pepper. Bring to boil.
Add the black eye beans and pasta and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle  with Parmesan cheese and serve.