Here’s some more inspiration in the form of another delicious recipe for Meat Free Week UK, by the wonderful Fleur from The Food Stork.

Ingredients:

Enough for 4 – 6 people

  • 2 fennel bulbs, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 x 450g can of tinned tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can of borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • the rind of Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato puree
  • 1 litre of good quality vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoon of small macaroni
  • a handful of fresh, clean spinach
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flaked sea salt
  • black pepper

Method:

Place a heavy-based, large sauce over a medium to low heat and add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the red onion, fennel, leek and carrots.  Season with salt and pepper, pop a lid on the pan, and let all the vegetables cook down and soften.  If the vegetables catch a bit, that is good as the caramelisation adds wonderful flavour.  When the vegetables are nicely softened, add the tomato puree and tin of tomatoes.  Pop the lid back on and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Mix everything well so the flavours start to really amalgamate.  Now add the beans, Parmesan rind (this adds great flavour and helps to thicken the soup) and the vegetable stock.  Bring everything to a very gentle simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes.

Now add the macaroni and cook following the packet instructions, but take it off the heat a few minutes before the stated time, as the macaroni will continue to cook even when the pan is taken off the heat.  Stir the minestrone and check the season.  I always add an extra glug of extra virgin olive oil at this point because I think the taste of the oil really heightens the flavour of the soup.  Add the handful of spinach, stir well and ladle into warm bowls.  Delicious with a good grating of parmesan, an extra crack of black pepper and a thick slice of buttered soda bread.

Made for My Baba by Fleur, at The Food Stork