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Recipe: Vegetable and Bean Minestrone

On a cold winter evening, nothing beats a bowl of steaming hot soup. This Minestrone style soup is filled with vegetables, beans and pasta, and is perfect for those mid-week evenings when you want to make a quick, nutritious dinner. Enjoy!

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cups pumpkin, diced
1 x 400g can chopped tomato
1 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (I’ve used thyme and rosemary)
1 x low sodium chicken or vegetable stock cube,
      (I’ve used Massel), dissolved in ½ cup boiling water)
1.8lt water
1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained
1 cup small pasta shapes

Chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan, to serve

  1. In a large pan, add the olive oil, onion, carrot and celery. Cook the vegetables on a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the pumpkin, crushed garlic and chopped herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, the chicken stock and water.
  4. Mash half of the cannellini beans with a fork and add to the pan.
  5. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked.
  6. Add the pasta and remaining beans. Let it simmer until pasta is cooked, adding more water if necessary.
  7. Once the minestrone is ready, check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
  8. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and grated parmesan.


Herb and Cheese Crostini

Sliced wholemeal bread
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 small garlic clove, crushed (optional)
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil

  1. Cut the stars out of the wholemeal bread, using a cookie cutter.
  2. Mix olive oil, parsley and garlic (if using it), in a small bowl.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Brush the olive oil mixture on each star and sprinkle with the parmesan.
  5. Place the stars on the tray and grill them until golden