It’s the first day of Autumn. Now that the kids are Back to School, we’ll all be looking for delicious, warming recipes to keep them strong and healthy over the coming months. Kids these days are so busy with after school activities a bowl of warm soup is a godsend in the afternoon when the hunger pangs hit… even us adults could do with a flask of this at our desk. I love Minestrone, a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes, but I like to add bacon rashers when I make it. It’s a meal in itself. This soup keeps well for 2-3 days in the fridge and actually improves with age, but if you’re not planning on eating the soup that day I would leave the pasta out and cook it separately, then adding it to the soup and heating through just before serving. No need to do this if you use rice.
For a meal, serve it with crusty bread, a slick of olive oil on top and some grated parmesan for people to add as they please. Infact if you have an end of a block of parmesan, don’t through it out, but leave it to sit in this soup as you cook it. It’s a great way to add flavour when making a rich tomato sauce.
3 smoked bacon, rind removed and sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced thinly
4 carrots, diced small
2 sticks celery, chopped
200g savoy cabbage, shredded thinly
1 x tin of cherry tomatoes
1500ml of chicken stock
100g orzo (or cut macaroni or other small pasta)
- Add bacon to the pan (with a tiny drizzle of oil if needed) and cook for 3-5 mins. Set aside on a plate.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large pot.
- Add the sliced onion and fry on medium heat till translucent but not brown. Next add the carrot and celery and fry for a few minutes before adding in the cabbage.
- Add in the bacon.
- Add the tin of tomatoes and the hot stock and stir.
- Simmer for 30 minutes adding more liquid if it becomes too thick.
- Turn up the heat and add the pasta for an additional 10 mins. Season and serve.