Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup - Vincenzo's Plate

INGREDIENTS
1 whole onion
1-2 carrots
1 Celery stalks
1 zucchini
¼ pumpkin
½ Savoy cabbage (optional, you can also add rapini, chicory)
½ cauliflower
4 ripe tomatoes
200g – 7.01 oz Lentils
200g – 7.01 oz Mixed beans
Fresh rosemary
Fresh parsley
Pecorino cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Water


METHOD
1. Minestrone soup is a classic, so start with the classic ingredients: carrots, celery and onion.
2. Chop the celery stalk, carrot and onion into cubes or small pieces. Hold on to the beautiful celery leaves and chop them up too!
3. Place a large pot onto the stove at a medium heat. Once it starts to warm, drizzle between 4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into it and leave to heat up.
4. When the oil is nice and warm, add the chopped celery, carrot and onion. Stir around, then add a sprig of fresh rosemary.
5. This process is called the “soffrito” and it is very important you let this cook through well, as it forms the base of the flavors for your minestrone soup.
6. Gently stir the soffrito every now and then to make sure they are moistened with oil and cooking well.
7. While the soffrito is cooking, chop up the pumpkin, broccoli and zucchini into small chunks and try and keep the size similar for all the vegetables so they cook evenly and more or less at the same time!
8. Once the minestrone soup soffrito has been simmering for at least 10 minutes, add the pumpkin, broccoli and zucchini and stir them through.
9. Add just enough water to cover them. Then leave this to cook for 20 minutes with the lid on, again stirring every so often. If you have stock you can also mix this in at this point to add even more flavor to the minestrone soup, instead of just plain water.
10. Next, cut up the rest of your vegetables. In this case, savoy cabbage, cauliflower and fresh tomatoes. An alternate option here is to use peeled tomatoes or a jar of Italian passata.
11. It’s now time to add lentils, mixed beans, tomatoes, savoy cabbage and cauliflower before once again covering the vegetables with water and leaving this to cook for 15 minutes, with the lid on top – and don’t forget to stir every 5 minutes!
12. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper to the minestrone soup and stir through well so all the ingredients are really well flavored.
13. Turn off the stove after 15 minutes (or once your vegetables have softened), then sprinkle a generous amount of pecorino or parmesan cheese on top, chopped parsley and a generous serve of cracked pepper.

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