Recipe: Minestrone soup by Lebo and Tebo Ndala
This is a hearty, easy minestrone soup recipe which you can make ahead of time and freeze. It can freeze well for three months if stored in an airtight container. This makes six bowls of soup.
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
¼ cup tomato paste or 1 cup tomato, cut-up
2 cups chopped vegetables fresh or frozen (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans, or peas all work)
1 tbsp dried Italian or mixed herbs (optional)
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their liquid (or 2 small 15-ounce cans)
3 cups stock (dissolve 2 stock cubes in boiling water to make stock, TIP: add 3 Laager Rooibos teabags to enhance the flavour. Allow to brew and then remove teabags)
2 cups water
1 cup pasta or rice, uncooked
1 can red kidney beans or cannellini beans rinsed and drained, or 1 ½ cups cooked dry beans.
2 cups spinach or any green leafy vegetables that might be wilting
- Warm 3 tablespoons of the cooking oil in a pot over medium heat. Once the oil is simmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened, and the onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the seasonal vegetables, dried herbs. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in the diced tomatoes and their juices, stock, and water. Add your seasoning of choice.
- Raise heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid, leaving about a 1-inch gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans, and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked al dente and the greens are tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat, then taste and season with more salt if needed.