Wednesday, July 01, 2009

June 24, 2009: Minestrone

To go along with the stick blender that she bought me for my birthday, Cindy splashed out for a copy of Soup For All Seasons from Aduki. It's a small soup cookbook put out by the good folks from Las Vegan, with twenty recipes for delicious vegan soups. Alas, very few of them require stick-blending - they're mostly chunky and hearty. Take, for example, this minestrone.

It's chock full of vegie chunks, pasta bits, beans and flavourings. It's good winter food - filling and hot with simple, earthy flavours. On the whole the flavours are a little plain - tomato and herbs do most of the work, which is fine for dinner, but started to wear us down after a few serves of leftovers.


2 leeks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large carrots, sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans
4-6 cups of vegie stock
3 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 cup small pasta noodles
1/2 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat oil in a large saucepan, and add the leeks, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves and dry herbs and cover and sweat over low heat until the vegies start to soften (about 10 minutes)

Add the tomatoes and stock, and stir together. Bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour, with the occasional stir.

Add the beans and potatoes, cook for 10 more minutes.

Add the pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes or so, until the pasta noodles have cooked properly. Serve with the basil on top and with some bread on the side.


  1. I've made this one too, yummy! I think I added a spoon of Massels veg chicken stock for extra flavour :)

  2. mmm - it is minestrone weather - just what I have been thinking about cooking lately

    if you want a good veg soup book, I could highly recommend the Nava Atlas one which I think is also called Soups for All Seasons

  3. If you want to give it an extra boost - use some rehydrate some dried mushrooms (porcini if you're extravagant - any from the asian grocery if you're me) in boiling water, chop them up quite finely and throw them in along with the soaking water (instead of or as well as stock/normal water)

    Gives it that good, hearty meaty flavour that a rustic italian soup needs (without the guilt of pancetta or something similarly piggy!)

  4. My flatmate made this a few weeks ago - it was so yum! All the soups in that book are pretty great, except the Serbian bean one which is a bit weird (or maybe I did it wrong). My favourite is the Dutch split pea soup. It's amazing.

  5. Hi Tronica! I think that was the stuff Michael used to make the stock - we can't get enough of it. :-)

    Thanks, Johanna! I've not heard of Nava Atlas before, but just took an enjoyable stroll through her websites.

    Great idea - thank you, Hannah!

    Thanks for the tip, Lisa. I thought the Serbian bean soup looked to be the most interesting of the lot, but perhaps I'll reign in my expectations before I try it.