Thursday, 9 January 2014

Minestrone soup - budget bites series

You can use a variety of vegetables in this soup - whatever is in season.

It has been a few days (three - but who's counting?) since I posted my healthy snack recipe and shared my resolutions. I have been having the oat bake for breakfast and soup for lunch every day. So far this has worked really well - no major hunger or cravings although I do miss baking. Not so much eating the sweet stuff as the act of baking itself. I long to get my hands stuck in some dough or experiment with a new recipe... and so my notebook is overflowing with scribbles and ideas.

In the meantime I have to share this soup tip which has revolutionised my office lunches. It is, simply, freezing the soup in silicone muffin moulds and bringing in just the right amount (3 cubes) to have for lunch. If you make a couple of large batches of soup over the weekend you can have healthy, comforting food on tap for the entire week and beyond. I have also saved a bundle by not buying lunch every day - another excellent incentive.

Ingredients
1 onion, finely chopped
3 leeks, white parts only, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely stalked
3 carrots, finely chopped
400g | 14 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
400g | 14 oz tin chopped tomatoes
960ml | 4 cups vegetable stock
60g | 2 oz small pasta shapes (I used stellini)
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
40g | 1 1 1/2 oz freshly grated Parmesan (use veggie Parmesan if you wish)
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
Olive oil to fry as needed
Salt and pepper to season

Method
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, leeks and caster sugar and fry over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the celery and carrots and continue to fry, stirring occasionally for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the beans, chopped tomatoes and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce the heat, partly cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 25 minutes.
  5. Add your pasta and simmer for whatever the recommended cooking time is. If the liquid has reduced too much you may need to add some hot water.
  6. Stir in the parsley and half the Parmesan and check the seasoning.
  7. Serve hot, topped with the rest of the cheese and some croutons if you like.

To freeze
Fill a couple of silicone muffin moulds with cooled soup and freeze them, uncovered. Once the soup is frozen, pop the soup cubes out of the muffin mould and put in a freezer bag. Seal the bag, trying to get most of the air out, and use the soup within 6-8 weeks. When you defrost the soup you may need to add little water if it's too thick.





Comment With:
OR
The Choice is Yours!

5 comments:

  1. Oh I could actually eat Minestrone all winter long, I love it :) And your freezing idea is genious :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks gorgeous, a favourite soup, and what a fantastic idea fro freezing! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sorry to be boring and say what's already been said but that freezing idea is SO genius! So simple but I would never have thought of it. I'm definitely using that tip from now on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never tried making minestrone soup myself, that looks really nice.

    ReplyDelete