Easy Minestrone

Here’s a tip from Italian cooks: there are really no hard-and-fast rules or secret ingredients when it comes to making minestrone, so long as it contains beans, pasta and an abundance of vegetables.

Easy Minestrone

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices rindless bacon (bacon strips), chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups (1 litre) beef stock
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, quite thinly chopped or diced
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) risoni pasta
  • 420 g (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • finely grated parmesan, to serve
  • pesto, to serve (optional)

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the bacon, onion, celery and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and the bacon is golden.
  2. Add the stock, wine, tomatoes and carrots, then bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the risoni and simmer for a further 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the beans and peas and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan, and a dollop of pesto if desired.

Slow cooker

If you have a slow cooker you can sauté in, or you don’t mind using another pot, follow step 1 as above. (Alternatively, omit the oil and the sautéing step.) Increase the stock to 5 cups (1.25 litres) and add to the slow cooker with all the ingredients except the risoni, peas, parsley, parmesan and pesto. Gently combine, then cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Stir in the risoni, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add the fully thawed peas, replace the lid and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve as directed.


Serves: 4
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes

Hot Pot, Crockpot, One Pot

For more delicious recipes that are a treat to eat and so easy to clean up after, see Hotpot, Crockpot, One Pot. Available from Reader’s Digest.

Hotpot, Crockpot, One Pot
Click image to buy now. ISBN  978-1-922083-31-9
 

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