Winter Warmer

The last couple of cold weekends we have been cooking large batches of soup. The week before we attempted a MasterChef minestrone soup; it was good, but nothing special. This weekend, we had a lot of the root veggies left over so thought we would try to create our own winter soup. It was delicious – loads better than the MasterChef soup! The addition of cayenne pepper and pureed canneloni beans greatly enhanced the flavour and texture of soup.

Serves 6-8 (or 2 + plenty of frozen leftovers)

  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • half a swede, diced
  • half a celeriac, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 tin cannellini beans, drained and pureed
  • 1 tin borlotti beans, drained
  • 1 cup fagioli pasta
  • ~1L chicken of vegetable stock
  • 1T tomato paste
  • 1-2t cayenne pepper
  • a few stems of thyme and rosmary
  • a handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • handful of baby spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese, to serve
  1. In a large heavy based pot, heat some olive oil and add the onions and garlic
  2. Add the swede, celeriac, carrot, potato (and/or any other root veggies you have) and continually stir for a few minutes
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cayenne pepper
  4. Add the stock, rosemary and thyme and and simmer for 10-20 minutes
  5. Stir in the pureed cannellini beans and simmer over a low heat until nearly ready to serve (10-60 minutes)
  6. Add the pasta and borlotti beans
  7. Once the pasta is cooked stir in the baby spinach and parsley
  8. Taste and season as required
  9. Serve and top each bowl with parmesan cheese.

Any leftovers can be frozen

Note, a soup like this is very forgiving. The specific ingredients and amount of each really don’t matter, we just keep adding until the pot is full. Add or replace any of these veggies with celery, zucchini, beans… If you want it to go further then add more stock. If you want it thicker, add an extra tin of pureed beans (cannellini or other). The time it cooks for also really doesn’t matter, as long as the potatoes and pasta are sufficiently cooked it will taste great.

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