We've been having gorgeous Autumn weather lately with cool nights and lovely warm sunny days. This is the perfect time of year for soup and really is there anything more comforting than a big bowl of steaming hot soup served with crusty bread on a cold night? Unfortunately hubby does not share my enthusiasm. Oh well, more for me and the kids!
This is my version of a minestrone soup. You can use absolutely any vegetables you like or happen to have on hand. The more the better. Add some beef stock, kidney beans and tomatoes and you have a hearty and warming winter meal. You can of course easily use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version that is just as yummy.
My Minestrone Soup
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
2 medium potatoes
2 corn cobs, kernels removed
1 large zucchini
1 large wedge of pumpkin
1 bunch asparagus
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbs Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic Paste
1 tbs Gourmet Garden Basil Paste
2 ts Gourmet Garden Thyme Paste
2 bay leaves
1 - 1/2 litres beef stock
2 tbs oil
Add the tomatoes, beans, herbs and enough stock to cover the veges. Cover the pot and bring to the boil. Spoon off the froth/scum that has risen to the surface then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for an hour or so, or until the vegetables are cooked through.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves. Serve with crusty bread and some grated Parmesan cheese.
To make it more kid friendly, simply puree the soup and serve with grated cheese and lots of hot buttered toast.
Enjoy! This makes enough to feed an army so be prepared to freeze it in smaller batches to pull out later for an easy dinner.