I knocked this up really quickly one night when Josh was feeling a bit sick. I had quite a few veggies lying around in the fridge, and what is minestrone soup if not an excuse to use up your veggies! You should be using whatever vegetables you have on hand. Anything from cabbage to swede will do.
I use pre-made pasta sauce in this recipe for two reasons: 1) because Josh was in an ‘omg-I-must-have-food-now’ and 2) I didn’t feel like stewing the vegetables for long. I was aiming for a soup with mellow broth but with vegetables that still retained their colours and flavours.
A small batch of soup, perfectly for two:
- 1/2 an onion, diced
- 1/2 small carrot, diced
- 1 small stick of celery, diced
- 1/24 red capsicum, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1/2 zucchini, sliced
- 5 long beans, sliced
- 2 cups of your favourite pasta sauce*
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of canned mixed beans**
- a large handful of pasta (I broke up some spaghetti)***
- 1 big handful of baby spinach leaves
In a saucepan, sautee the onion, carrot, capsicum and celery with a bit of olive oil on medium-low heat until softened. Turn the heat up, add crushed garlic, zucchini and green beans. Stir constantly for a few minutes. Add the pasta sauce and water. Bring to boil. Add the pasta and turn the heat down to simmer. Simmer for 10 or so minutes until the pasta is tender. Add the spinach leaves and stir for a minute until the spinach is cooked.
Grate some parmasan or pecorino cheese on top. Serve with buttered fresh crusty bread.
* I used Dolmio’s Extra Garlic
** I used the Safeway homebrand three-bean mix here because it’s the only canned mixed beans without kidney beans (Josh is allergic) but feel free to try whichever brand that takes your fancy.
*** I’m led to believe leftover broken bits of long pasta is the traditional. I think I prefer short pasta. Easier to eat.