Please allow me to talk about my great love for minestrone. It’s the ultimate throw together comfort meal. There is no real fixed way of making it, this is just one of many ways. It usually varies from region to region of Italy, and home-made versions are always better than the overly tomatoey canned version you will find in most supermarkets. It’s a lot lighter and perfect for when the weather is neither hot or cold. I have used rice noodles instead of pasta as I find I prefer it (its lighter wich means plenty of space for focaccia or dipping bread in your belly) but you could break up spaghetti, it wont be as quick though. Also remember to pick your wild garlic responsibly!
Cooking time: approx 35 mins Serves: 4 or more.
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 medium potato, peeled and finely diced
1 courgette, sliced into thin half moons
pinch o’ salt
6-8 cups good quality vegetable stock (check is gluten-free)
2 italian plum tomatoes, diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme and 2 sprigs fresh rosemary tied together with string
1 tin cannellini beans
1 packed cup kale, tough stems removed and torn into bit sized pieces
approx 10 leaves wild garlic
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch o’ salt
a lil’ black pepper
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Heat the olive oil in a big stock pot and saute the onion, celery, potato and carrots for about 4 minutes, add the courgette and sprinkle a tiny bit of salt over it before stirring through and sauteing everything for about 2 minutes more. Now simply add in your stock, herbs, beans, the tomatoes and kale, bring everything to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and gently simmer covered for about 25 minutes until the veggies are all nice and tender.
Whilst the veggies are cooking you can make your pest, just simply add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped and then set aside.
Remove the herbs and add in the rice vermicelli, break the noodles up a little as you put them in by crushing them with your hands, pop the lid back on and allow the noodles to soften -this should only take a couple of minutes- then serve with a dollop of the wild garlic pesto.