11 November 2013

* Winter Minestrone

Winter Minestrone Recipe
This is my absolute new favourite soup.

I know I shouldn't favour one recipe over any other... they are all my babies (kinda), but this one would get more pocket money than the others, for definite. I wish I could claim it as all my own idea with a touch of aren't I a complete genius thrown in, just to keep everything on the me, me, me.... but this Winter Minestrone Recipe is one I adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa - to suit my own cooking style and recipe ingredients.

In otherwords, I made it as easy and lazy as possible. I really can't be bothered to cook pasta separately (as per Ina's recipe) then throw it in the pot when it's cooked - it cooks just as easily in the soup itself, as it does in a pot of boiling water - and there's less washing up to do. Win win.

I know it's on a Monday that I'm posting this, but it's NOT a Meatless Monday Recipe - it has bacon in it and chicken stock. I'm still no good at planning ahead when it comes to bandwagons I could jump upon. The fact that I've managed a few Meatless Mondays posts in recent months is pure coincidence and nothing to do with planning whatsover - I don't cook for my blog as much as I cook for me and Neil... especially in the cold, dark months at the end of one year and beginning of the next, because I have a hard time taking decent photographs in the light.

Which leads me to a favour I need to ask - Neil has mentioned buying me a decent digital camera for Christmas (I currently have a little point and shoot) and I was wondering what any of you might suggest I should look at? Our budget would be in the region of £300 (just under 500 American dollars). Any advice would be truly appreciated!

Thanks guys xx

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Winter Minestrone Recipe
Winter Minestrone Recipe 
Serves 6 (8 if you're tight)

Prep time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 1hr
Total time - 1hr 15 minutes

You will need
A large soup/stock pot

1 tbsp olive oil
4oz/100g pancetta (or smoked streaky bacon) - cut into lardons
1 onion - diced (1cm)
2 medium carrots - peeled and diced (1cm)
2 large stalks celery - diced (1cm)
1 harlequin or onion squash - peeled, deseeded and diced (1cm)
4 cloves garlic - crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
2 x 14oz/400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 pints/1 litre 600ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
14oz/400g can of canellini beans - drained and rinsed
3oz/80g dried small soup pasta - ditalini or mini conchiglie
4oz/100g curly kale
5fl oz/150ml good dry white wine
2 tablespoons pesto

  • Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the saucepan and add the pancetta. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  • Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and continue to cook stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes add the dried pasta and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Discard the bay leaf.
  • Add the beans and heat through.
  • Just before serving add the curly kale, and gently stir it through the soup.
  • Stir in the white wine and pesto.
  • Serve garnished with grated Parmesan.


Winter Minestrone Recipe

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa


  1. Deliciosa sopa para otoƱo, invierno y hasta en primavera, me gusta el toque de vino blanco... tiene que ser muy reconfortante. Felicidades.

  2. OMG this looks so good, it's making me hungry. I love recipes from Barefoot Contessa so I'm sure this was delicious!

    1. Thankyou! I don't know how she does it, Jo - but her flavours always work out just about right.

  3. Sounds gorgeous. I'm always looking for new soup recipes for taking to work. This is next on my list!

  4. Aww...Neil's so sweet! I wish I could suggest something but I don't know much about cameras.

    This looks extremely delicious. Slurrpppp! xx ^.^

    1. Neil is sweet, most of the time! He worries that he comes across as not particularly nice on my blog, though ;-)

      And thankyou, Ina garten never fails to deliver!

  5. Hearty, healthy, comforting. Perfect for the fall weather.

  6. Great looking bowl of soup, my British friend! Looks like we were on the same wavelength taking pictures this week. I just posted one that's very similar. Great minds... Great post! I would recommend the Nikon D5100 if you're looking for a good camera. I used the previous version of this camera (D5000) for many of my photos but I dropped it in February and I upgraded. The D5100 gets great reviews and served me very well.

    1. Bill, I saw that when I was facebook yesterday! My little point and shoot limits me as far as set ups are concerned so most of my images are of a couple of bowls from above - you're dead right, Great Minds ;-)

      And thankyou very much for the camera info, I shall have a look at that! I know more about photographs than I do about cameras (that made sense in my head) - your help is appreciated :D xx

  7. Abbe, here's a camera that you could check out. The Canon EOS Rebel T3i. With the kit lens it's close to your budget and it's very good camera. Not crazy about the kit lens however because it's not the best lens for food photography. For your next gift receiving day :), you could ask for the Canon 50 mm f1.4 or 1.8 lens to use with it. I have the 50mm 1.4 and love it! Now for the minestrone - love it! I usually make a meatless minestrone but next time I'll definitely be adding the pancetta. I know what you mean about making recipes easier. I even went back the other day and simplified one of my own recipes. :)

    1. Thanks for the camera info, MJ - it helps knowing that I might need to buy lenses as well (I hadn't thought of that!). I'm still working with a camera that's so basic it doesn't have any lenses to go with it, but I've dropped it in so many bowls of soup it's a sturdy little thing ;-)
      I usually make meatless minestrone too, but thought I'd give this a try and I don't think I'll ever swap back - I'm glad you like the recipe :D x

  8. I've been looking for a soup recipe and this fits the bill! *pats tummy, smacks lips*.


Thanks for dropping in to read my recipes (and ramblings). I love it when you let me know what you think - so please leave a comment and I promise to take the time to reply!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...