Prep: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 5-8 hours
Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, no added sugars and is low in fats!
This is a nutritious and hearty recipe. Soup is great for winter, perfect for keeping your food costs down (just use seasonal and/or frozen vegetables and/or dried pulses/legumes) and is ideal for those that do not have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen; leftovers can easily be stored and reheated!
We’ve read that Minestrone means ‘the big soup’ in Italian. Its a substantial dish consisting of vegetables and beans (occasionally meat), with either rice or pasta; the recipe varies in most households but it’s loved all the same!
It’s ideal to have recipes in a slow cooking format. Slow cooking is great for when you have to serve people in large quantities, saving on electricity costs and reclaiming some of your valuable time! Prep the vegetables the night before and store them in a container full of cold water (so they do not dry out); place your ingredients in the slow cooker before you go off to work!
*Based on 10 servings, one serving provides you with approximately 4 of your 5-A-DAY!
180g Dried Butter Beans (soaked overnight)
250g White onion
450g Baking potato
140g Red Bell pepper
16g Garlic cloves
200g Frozen green beans
20g Fresh parsley
1600g Tinned plum tomatoes (no added salt/sugar)
2g Herbs De Provence
2g Dried Oregano
Salt & ground black pepper
1.5L Vegetable stock (low-sodium, DF, GF)
200g GF Fusilli
120g Frozen sweet corn
160g Frozen spinach
*This recipe provides approximately: 140% of your RDA for Vitamin C and 200% of your RDA for Vitamin A/ serving!
Prepare the dried beans according to the packet instructions. Drain.
Wash, trim the ends and slice the celery. Peel and chop the onion. Wash, peel and dice the potato. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then dice the carrot. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and then finely chop the bell pepper. Peel and mince the garlic.
Snap the green beans into bite-sized pieces. Wash, dry and roughly chop the parsley.
Place the tomatoes into the slow cooker…
then the dried beans…..
…followed by the celery, onion, potato, carrot, bell pepper, garlic and green beans.
Add the parsley, Herbs De Provence. Season it to taste with some salt and pepper.
Pour in the ‘boiling hot’ stock. Give it a stir.
Cover with a lid. Place on a medium or low heat setting; 5-6 hours or 7-8 hours respectively.
For the second phase of this recipe, cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.
Defrost the corn and spinach before adding it to the soup.
Drain off any excess water.
Add the cooked pasta, corn and spinach 30 minutes before the end of cooking.
Stir through. Cover with the lid.
Alternatively, cook your remaining vegetables and pasta; add them to the soup when it has finished cooking.
When it was finished, ours went straight into this plastic container.
Alternatively, ladle into a soup bowl and serve warm.
Place any leftovers into a resealable container and refrigerate; consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, place the container(s) into the freezer and use within 2-3 months; defrost before use.
- Stick with your favourite and/or seasonal veggies!
- Adapt the herbs and choice of legumes to your taste. Non-vegans can try adding a little cheese and/or using a different stock/flavouring if desired.
- Try using wild rice or lentils instead of pasta!
- Use a spelt, wholemeal or spinach/wheat-based pasta if gluten is not a concern to you.
NB: If you prefer to add dried pasta to the recipe (at the start of the cooking process), adjust the liquid levels accordingly.
- If you are not used to eating this quantity of fibre, reduce the quantities of vegetables slightly!