Friday, 15 April 2011

Spring Minestrone Soup - No Croutons Required

I love a bloggers challenge which fits perfectly into my lifestyle, something that's not so much a challenge as a happy coincident as I'm cooking it anyway, so when I finally decided that April would be the month that I join the brilliant No Croutons Required challenge, hosted by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes, it was with a flash of brilliance that I realised the theme for me was kismet...

... I mean, for a start I should have been doing this challenge a long time ago... firstly it's a very long running challenge, already in it's third year, which is a good enough reason to jump on the bandwagon... secondly I love making soup, always have, it's been a basic staple that my friends know me for... always reliable that Dom should make a big bowl of tasty soup...

... this month, the challenge was based on old NCR themes from our birthday months over the past 3 years.  Mine being September I got Mediterranean Soup and, finally getting to my point,  as it happens I had bought all the ingredients for a Minestrone... genius!

Spring Minestrone

I've made this a little fresher and more Spring-like by including some lovely freshly frozen peas but really you can put in whatever you like, veg that are in season is good, as long as there's lots of them, minestrone means 'the one with many ingredients' so go crazy!

if you can make this in the morning and then serve it in the evening you'll have more flavour in the soup on that second re-heat.

1 onion - chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped finely with salt and rosemary
2 stalks celery - chopped
2 medium carrots - chopped
1 courgette - chopped
a handful of fine beans - chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
a handful of teeny pasta shells
a handful of frozen peas
half a small savoy cabbage - chopped
2 pints of good vegetable stock

- couldn't be simpler really... in a big heavy pan saute the onions then garlic, celery and carrots until tender, then add the rest of the veg except for the peas and cabbage and sweat with the lid on for 5-8 minutes)

- add the tomatoes, then the stock and finally the pasta, peas and cabbage and let it simmer gently for 20 minutes.

- serve with a strong grated cheese

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. I've got in the habit of chucking in a bit of Parmesan or Pecorino rind for added tasty . . . and the cooks treat too :)

  2. Nothing better than a good bowl of steaming soup - well maybe a few things, but not too many.

  3. minestrone - a delicious meal in a bowl - and I do the same as Marmaduke Scarlet - add cheese rinds then pick them out and nibble when they're all gooey...
    Lovely recipe Dom.

  4. Looks gorgeous and really spring-esque! have bookmarked this for the weekend!

  5. oh I love to add a bit of parmesan too but The Big V is a veggie and i'm afraid that traditional parmesan is not veggie friendly, so it has to be a strong cheddar or similar for us!... x

  6. Dom, this looks delicious! We eat soup year around--sometimes, in the summer, it's a cold soup. In fact, my very first cold soup was at a Polish restaurant in London. It was a Polish-style borzst (oh, heck--I can't spell it correctly) that had been chilled and sour cream whisked in turning it a lovely shade of deep pink. Thanks for the recipe for this soup and the memories.


  7. Wow, Dom, that's one seriously good looking bowl of soup... I am a September baby too, and I am going to have to get cracking on my entry...

    Husband loves soups, so NCR is a win win all round in our house.

  8. Dom, the minestrone looks so hearty and comforting. It's been rather chilly in the north east the past couple of days and if the weather stays like this on the weekend, I think it's time for a bowl of soup like this. Have a great weekend.

  9. Soup just makes you feel good. I love to grate Romano Cheese on my minestrone, which is almost exactly like your recipe. Enjoy your left overs!

  10. Mmmm, looks delicious, and it's cool enough over here in New England that your soup would make a perfect meal! Please save me a bowl!

  11. My Mum totally raves about your soups, seems she has made just about every one of them. I am sure she will be trying this one too!

  12. Oh yum I love a good minestrone with loads of fresh basil scattered on top! So cosy and so good to use up the vegies in your fridge too!

  13. Yup that looks goooooooooooooooooooood!
    Full of goodness and very satisfying.

  14. Made your soup today to pass around to my church folk ... oh, and my brothers, who are blowing into the grey cottage tomorrow afternoon for a quick lunch visit ... doubled the recipe! So delish! I have more of my spiral bread so it's alllll good! Thanks, pal! X

  15. I'm looking for a good minestrone recipe. I've tried a few, but they were all lacking a little something. Yours looks delicious.

  16. delicious looking soup.. yummy !

  17. new to ur space and happy to follow u for more wonderful recipes..

    do visit my space when u get time


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