3mediumcarrotspeeled then cut into thin slices of half-moons. Or roughly chopped.
1medium / 1 heaped cup once chopped of sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks
2large cloves ofgarlicminced.
2x 400g cans/ 2 x 14.5 oz cans of whole plum tomatoes
1litre of / 5 cups of vegetable stockmade with 1 litre/ 5 cups of boiling water and 4 teaspoons of vegan vegetable bouillon.
2dried bay leaves
1tablespoonfresh parsley chopped
5 or 6 sprigsof fresh thyme
1400g/14.5 oz can of cooked borlotti beansdrained and rinsed under running water
1400g/14.5 oz can of cooked cannellini beansdrained and rinsed under running water
75g/ just under 1 cup of Margheritine pastasmall pasta shells
60g/ 2 ½ packed cups of chopped kalewoody stems removed
2 tablespoonfresh lemon juice
½teaspoonsea saltdivided into two quarters
½teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot.Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring often. Once the onions are soft add the chopped sweet potato and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add 2 large minced cloves of garlic and ½ a tablespoon of dried oregano. Cook for a minute until you smell the garlic. Next pour in two cans of plum tomatoes, use your wooden spoon to break them up a bit.Pour in the stock then add the beans and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley, two dried bay leaves and 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. Season with the salt and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup up to a boil then reduce the heat to low to medium until the soup is simmering. Leave to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.Check the seasoning now, add more salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.
Once the sweet potato and carrots are tender then add the pasta. Cook for five minutes stirring often so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan.After 5 minutes add the kale and the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Stir well and once the kale has wilted your minestrone is ready.Serve immediately with vegan parmesan and crusty bread.
Stock – I use a vegan vegetable bouillon to make my stock. I add 4 level teaspoons to 1 litre of boiling water.
Tomatoes – Canned plum tomatoes are best for this soup, but you can use regular tinned tomatoes if you want and if you are making this in the summertime then fresh ripe Roma tomatoes will work great, you will need to peel, deseed and chop them.
Beans – Borlotti and cannellini beans are my beans of choice for this minestrone. I use canned beans for convenience but you can also use dried beans. If you use dried beans then you will need to make them the day before. You can use one or two kinds of beans if you wish.
Vegetables – I used sweet potato and kale in this minestrone but you can add in other veggies if you like. Courgettes/zucchini work really, I would add them later though to avoid them turning to mush. Green beans, cauliflower and butternut squash work really well too. The trick here is to use what you have but not anything that will go too soggy. I would avoid broccoli as it may be too bitter and go too soggy. You could also swap the kale for spinach if you wish, that will need less cooking too.
Pasta –most pasta will work in this soup, but I would avoid big pasta shells. Shapes like orzo, penne, fusilli or macaroni work well as do broken spaghetti or linguine. I used dried Margheritine pasta, this is a small soup pasta that works really well. You can cook the pasta separately if you wish but I like the added starch that comes when you cook it in the soup.
Freezing/Storing/Reheating - I don’t recommend freezing this due to the pasta, it can become mushy once reheated and can turn your minestrone into a mess to be quite frank. This minestrone will keep for up to 3 days once stored in the fridge. For best results reheat it on the hob.
Make it gluten-free - Swap the pasta for gluten-free pasta or omit it altogether. If you omit the pasta add in more veggies. Also, make sure your stock is gluten-free.
Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It is based on one large serving for dinner and does not include any bread or vegan cheese added.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.