January in Fethiye is always the coldest month. It amazes me how many people think Turkey is sweltering all year around. In reality, lack of central heating, marble or ceramic floors and no fluffy shag-pile carpets in most coastal homes makes a house feel far cooler than the UK, even though the temperatures rarely drop below freezing.
This minestrone soup is the ideal feel good on a cold winters night recipe. It’s a recipe that you can sling together quickly knowing within an hour you can be tucking into a hearty bowl of goodness sure to warm you right up.
This hearty minestrone soup is based on the soup my Mum used to make me as a child, just using seasonal ingredients you can find from the local Turkish market. It’s vegetarian and healthy, a flavourful broth, more like a stoup, packed full of seasonal goodness, white beans, and little pasta shells.
Winter Warming Minestrone SoupPrint This
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion (Diced)
- 2 Large Carrots (Diced)
- 1 Small Corguette (Thickly sliced then quartered)
- 1 Red Pepper (Diced)
- 1 Medium Potato (Diced)
- 3 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
- 3 Handfuls Spinach (Roughly chopped)
- Large Can Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Small Can White (Cannellini) Beans (Drained and Rinsed) or dried ones soaked, cooked and drained
- 200g Small Shell Pasta (Cooked 5 minutes and drained)
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 750ml Vegetable Stock
- 1 Cup Water
- Small Handful Chopped Fresh Parsley
- Small Handful Chopped Fresh Basil
- Grated Parmesan (to Serve)
- Crusty Bead (To Serve)
In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and add the onions and carrots. Heat over a medium heat until soft (about 7 minutes, not browned).
- Add the garlic, courgette, peppers and potato and stir for 3 minutes until combined. Add the dried thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Stir again.
- Tip in the canned tomatoes and bring to the boil, then stir in the stock and turn down to a simmer for around 15 minutes.
- Add the beans and warm through for around 5 minutes more.
- Check potatoes, they should now be almost cooked? If so, add the spinach, stir until wilted and then add the part-cooked pasta shells. Simmer for a few minutes more or until pasta is cooked to your taste. If the soup is too thick, add the additional cup of water.
- Just before serving, add the chopped fresh basil and parsley and adjust seasoning.
To Serve: Ladle into bowls and grate a little parmesan over the top. Serve with a big wedge of crusty bread or some toast.
Use whatever you have: You can easily tweak this minestrone soup recipe to suit what you have at hand. White cabbage or Swiss Card is a great substitute to the spinach (swiss chard takes longer to cook though so add earlier), you could add other root vegetables you have lying around, you could even add a small piece of parmesan rind into the pot for a truly authentic Italian flavour. Using Dried Beans: I prefer using dried beans as I often find the canned ones mushy. Do soak the beans overnight, drain, cover with water again and bring them to a boil, simmering them for around 20 to 30 minutes until cooked. Drain and then use in the recipe as above.
I hope you like this minestrone soup recipe, do be sure to give it a go 😉
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