Autumn minestrone soup – a hearty, comforting vegan soup that is perfect for the colder months.
As soon as Summer is over I think that my diet probably becomes about 30% soup. It is so quick and easy to make, filling, warming and healthy (the large quantities of buttered toast that I like to dip in it not so much…). I like to make a big batch for dinner one day, and then have leftovers for lunch for the next couple of days; so although this recipe makes enough soup to feed six people, I cook it for just the two of us and we will eat it for three days.
Minestrone is one of my favourite soups to make as it is so hearty and filling and can easily be varied to suit what vegetables are in season (or what you have in the fridge). This Autumn minestrone uses seasonal butternut squash and cavolo nero (or kale) alongside the usual onion, carrot, celery, zucchini and potato making it a perfect dish for Fall.
Minestrone usually contains some sort of small pasta shapes which are cooked right in the soup. I went for ditalini, but any small pasta will work, you can even use broken up spaghetti. The addition of the pasta makes sure that this is a satisfying one-pot meal and all you need to serve with it is some crusty bread to mop up the juices. You can also top the soup with a swirl of pesto and a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese if you like.
This Autumn minestrone is vegan, but if you like you can add some chopped pancetta or bacon to the pan when you are frying your onions, carrots and celery.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 brown onion
- 1 large carrot
- 2 celery sticks
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 zucchini
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 large potato
- 7 oz/a large handful cavolo nero or kale
- a few sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2/3 cup uncooked ditalini pasta shapes
- fresh basil to serve
1.Peel and finely dice the onion, peel and finely dice the carrot, thinly slice the celery sticks and peel and crush the garlic.
2.Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cook gently for about 10 minutes until softened and lightly coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
3.Dice the zucchini, peel, de-seed and dice the butternut squash, dice the potato, thinly shred the cavolo nero or kale, strip and finely chop the thyme and rosemary leaves, discarding the stalks.
4.Add all of the prepared veg, the herbs, canned tomatoes, cannellini beans, vegetable stock and pasta shapes to the pan. Bring up to a simmer then allow to simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until both the vegetables and pasta are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in some finely chopped fresh basil.