A little holiday over-indulgence had me craving something full of fresh vegetables and a punch of good vitamins. Minestrone seemed a perfect fit for a chilly Sunday on the first day of 2017! What I love about minestrone is that there are really no rules; there are so many recipes out there from classic to a little crazy. I think this one falls somewhere in between and will be the perfect lunch to take to work this week.
Hearty vegetarian white bean minestrone soup
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 portobello mushroom, diced
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 796 ml (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 540 ml (19 oz) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 cup shell pasta, uncooked
3 cups swiss chard leaves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1) Heat oil in a large soup pot and add the onions. Cook on medium heat until partially cooked, approximately 5 minutes.
2) Add the mushroom, carrot and garlic and cook a further 5 minutes
3) Add the remaining vegetables and cook 2 minutes minutes, then add the tomatoes, chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil.
4) Bring the soup down to a simmer and add the beans, herbs and pasta. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the pasta is soft.
5) Season with salt and pepper and add the swiss chard leaves, stir through until soft.
6) Serve with fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of grated parmesan for each bowl.