Store Cupboard Minestrone


Do you ever get those days when you really do need to go shopping but really can't be bothered?  When that happens to me it's usually one of those rainy, dreary days when all I want to do is stay inside.  Take a look in the fridge and the cupboards - it's surprising what you can make up with with a few basics.  A few vegetables, a couple of cans and a bit of pasta will go a long way to producing a big pan of lovely, warming Minestrone Soup ..... and I can't think what could be nicer when it's raining and windy outside.
Storage Cupboard Minestrone Soup
  1. 1 tablesp. olive oil
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 12 ozs. vegetables - what ever you can find lurking in the fridge. I used a couple of carrots, some green beans, a parsnip, celery and a courgette
  4. 1-2 cloves garlic
  5. 1 tin tomatoes
  6. 1 tin beans - cannellini, pinto, kidney or chickpeas
  7. Some thyme - fresh if you have it, dried if you don't
  8. 6 ozs pasta - or broken spaghetti
  9. 2 1/2 pints stock or water
  10. Spinach or cabbage - around a large handful or two
  11. Seasoning - I used Italian seasoning but oregano, marjoram or even basil would be OK
  12. Bacon optional
  1. Chop the onion fairly finely.
  2. Chop the other vegetables into chunky pieces.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion and chopped bacon if using.
  4. Add the other vegetables (apart from the spinach or cabbage) and fry for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
  6. Add the tinned tomatoes, herbs, seasoning and stock and bring to the boil.
  7. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  8. Add the pasta and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
  9. Add the beans and cabbage, if using and cook until the cabbage is cooked.
  10. Add the spinach, if using and cook for 2 minutes.
  1. * Serve with parmesan & crusty bread.
  2. * Adjust the thickness of the soup to your personal taste - if it's too thin simmer a while longer before adding the spinach (if using) until the right consistency. If it's too thick just add more water.
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