This tomato-based classic Italian soup is flavoured with garlic and celery and packed with diced vegetables. The vegetarian version uses pasta while the non-vegetarian version uses chicken (see note).

Serves 4-5
2 tbsp olive oil or any cooking oil
1 onion - chopped finely (0.5 cup)
2 flakes garlic - crushed
1 carrot - diced into small pieces (0.5 cup)
1 small potato - diced into very small pieces (0.5 cup)
3-4 tbsp finely chopped celery
3 medium sized tomatoes - blanched, peeled and chopped finely.
1/4 cup of macaroni or any other small pasta
5 cups stock or 5 cups water mixed with 2 soup/stock cubes, see note.
2-3 tbsp baked beans, (optional) see note salt & pepper to taste


To blanch the tomatoes, put them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove from water and peel them to remove skin. Chop them finely. You can also blanch them in a microwave in a bowl without water, for 4 minutes. Keep aside.

Heat oil. Add onion & garlic. Stir fry till light brown.

Add carrots and potatoes and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.

Add diced chicken/macaroni. Stir for 1-2 minutes.

Add celery and blanched tomatoes. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Add stock and baked beans. Give one boil. Lower heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Serve hot, garnished with some grated cheese.

Note: For chicken minestrone, 0.5 cup diced boneless chicken can be used instead of macaroni.
Instead of homemade chicken stock, 5 cups water & 2 chicken seasoning cubes can be used. Do not add any salt, if using soup cubes as they already contain salt. Taste at the end and adjust salt to taste.
The left over baked beans can be stored in a clean stainless steel or a plastic container in the freezer.

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