Winter minestrone

Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1 small leek
  • ½ swede or 1 parnip
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • ½ white or green cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 handfuls of soup pasta - a quick-cook, small pasta shape will do
  • 1 tin of tomatoes


Peel the onion and chop finely. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Sauté gently for 5 minutes. Peel and crush the garlic. Wash the carrots and chop finely. Add both to the pan and continue to sauté. Trim the top and roots off the leek. Cut in half lengthways and wash under running water, fanning the layers to remove all mud and grit. Chop into 1 cm slices and add to the pan. Peel the swede (or parsnip) and chop into small dice. Add to the pan with the vegetable stock. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the root veggies are fairly soft. Shred the cabbage finely and add to the pan. Add the pasta and tomato puree and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. If your tomatoes are already roughly chopped, add the whole tin to the pan. If they are whole, add the juice to the pan then roughly chop the tomatoes and stir into the soup. Continue to simmer until the pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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