Are you looking for something delicious to cook on a cold winters evening with your weekly Cultivate veggie box delivery? Then look no further, with an abundance of nourishing winter veg and delicious filling beans, this winter warmer will be an absolute hit with your household. I often double this up and make it in a large pot, so I've got plenty to share or freeze for nights where I want something substantial but nourishing to keep me warm! Serve with some delicious crunchy bread and perhaps a nice glass of Central Otago pinot to wash it down. You won't be disappointed!
"You can taste everything in this minestrone soup - beans, chickpeas, tomato, silverbeet, celery, lots of garlic. We also put in parmesan rinds, which give it an amazing flavour," says chef Khan Danis of Sydney's now-closed Cipro. You'll need to begin this minestrone recipe a day ahead to soak the borlotti beans and chickpeas.
Prep time 20 minutes, cook time 1.25 hours plus soaking and cooling time, serves 6.
100g or half a cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight in cold water
65 g or 1/3 cup dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight in cold water
3 large ripe vine-ripened tomatoes, scored
150 mil olive oil, plus extra to serve
4 silverbeet leaves, stems removed and diced, leaves sliced
One small carrot cut into 1 cm dice
one celery stalk cut into 1 cm dice
half large onion cut into 1 cm dice
2 garlic clothes thinly sliced
1.25 L or 5 cups vegetable stock
400 g canned tomatoes blended with 250 mil one cup of water
one zucchini cut into 1 cm dice
100 g dried macaroni
100 g green beans cut into 2 cm pieces
1 piece of Parmesan rind, plus finely grated Parmesan to serve (optional)
2 thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
1/2 cups firmly packed basil
1 clove garlic crushed
100 g pine nuts
150 mil extra-virgin olive oil
35g or 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
juice of half a lemon
Drained chickpeas and borlotti beans, placed in separate saucepan, cover completely with cold unsalted water, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until beans are tender and chickpeas are just tender (40 to 50 minutes). Set aside to cool in water.
Blanch tomatoes (20-40 seconds), peel discard seeds, dice and place in a bowl, or if you can’t be bothered just cut them up.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add silverbeet stems, carrots, celery and onion and fry until just softened (5 to 6 minutes). Add garlic, fry until tender (2-3 minutes), then add drained chickpeas and borlotti beans, diced tomato and remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and season to taste. Reduce heat to low to medium and simmer until all ingredients are soft (10-15 minutes). Remove Parmesan rind, adjust seasoning to taste and keep warm
Meanwhile, for pesto, pound basil and garlic to a pot with a mortar and pestle. Add pine nuts and half the oil and pound to a smooth paste, mix in Parmesan, lemon juice and remaining oil and season to taste.
Divide soup amongst bowls top with pesto and grated Parmesan, drizzle with oil and serve with some lovely crusty bread.