MINESTRONE SOUP

This recipe is GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE and VEGAN. I always try and use organic foods, where possible, but the recipe will work just as well with non-organic produce.

I am a real sucker for a warming bowl of minestrone, come rain or shine.  Soup always seems to reach the soul like no other food can, but a bowl of minestrone seems to throw in a little extra when it gets there.  It is the ultimate in comfort food, yet couldn’t be more simple with it’s humble list of ingredients.

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For me, the benchmark of a good Italian restaurant is whether they serve minestrone soup.  I completely fell in love with our local Italian restaurant on our first visit after asking if they offered minestrone; “but of course!” the heavily accented waiter replied, almost seeming offended that I would even question it.  “We ALWAYS serve minestrone soup”.  And wow, what a damn fine bowl of of soup it was too!

So, here is my interpretation of this classic Italian soup, replacing the pasta for quinoa in order to keep the recipe gluten free and retaining as many whole foods as possible.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do.

SERVES 4 – 158 calories per serving

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g quinoa
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans

METHOD

  1. Place the quinoa in a bowl, cover with cold water and set to one side to soak.
  2. Pop the chopped onion in a large pan with 100ml of the stock and gently cook until the onion has turned translucent.  Add the carrots and celery sticks and cook for a further 5 minutes, before adding the garlic, bay leaves and tomatoes.  Stir thoroughly to blend the tomato puree with the rest of the ingredients and then add the chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock.
  3. Rinse and drain the quinoa and add to the pan.  Allow to cook for 20 minutes before introducing the cannellini beans, stir well and cook for a final 10 minutes.  By this time the carrot should be tender and the tails of the quinoa visible.
  4. Remove the bay leaves and serve with warm crusty bread, gluten free, of course!

 

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