One of the many things I realised when I changed careers and went from being a corporate worker to studying the culinary arts was that with the commercialisation of food products for convenience a lot of us don’t know the origins of a lot of what we eat.
This soup is a case in point. My whole life I had always known minestrone soup to be something that comes from a soup packet and my mom would use to thicken her gravy! Even though the packet would clearly say “minestrone soup” my mind didn’t quite realise it was meant to be a liquid and not a powder.
This isn’t my favourite in terms of flavour. It reminds me of my dad’s bone and veg soup from my youth but this is a timeless classic as well. Italian in origin, like British soups it makes use of both meat and vegetables in a dairy free soup. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. They should still have a bit of bite to them. The key to a beautiful looking minestrone soup is identically chopped and same-sized vegetables. Pre-cook some pasta shells and add them at the end. Some people prefer it without the pasta.
- Bacon, cut into small cubes – 60g
- Olive oil – 60ml
- Onions, chopped – 450g
- Celery, chopped – 220g
- Carrots, chopped – 220g
- Green peppers, chopped – 220g
- Red cabbage, chopped – 220g
- Garlic, fine minced – 15g
- Tomato, fine chopped – 450g
- Chicken stock (Liquid, not stock cubes) – 450g
- Canned Chickpeas – 120g
- Canned Cannelini beans (replace with butter beans if you can’t find them) – 200g
- White pepper
- Pour the olive oil into a pot and brown the bacon. Remove the bacon and set it aside.
- In the same pot add vegetables along with the garlic, heat to medium and keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the onions and celery are translucent.
- Add the tomatoes and stock, simmer until tender. Making sure not to overcook them.
- Strain the chickpeas and cannellini beans and add to the pot, simmer the soup until all the ingredients are tender.
- Add the bacon and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately or cool down immediately in a bath of ice water. (this is to prevent overcooking the vegetables)
- You can add your pasta towards the end just before serving