Springtime Minestrone

Springtime Minestrone

Minestrone is perhaps the greatest way of bringing together the best of seasonal produce in one dish. My last recipe for this ‘big soup’, Autumnal Minestrone, unified leeks, beans and carrots in a delicious broth, which proved to be pleasantly warming and hearty. This springtime rendition lightens things up a little with fennel, peas and spring onions, evoking the time of year in both colour and flavour.

As noted in my previous minestrone recipe, you needn’t loyally follow the ingredients listed below. For instance, asparagus and cauliflower are both coming into season in Britain and small slices/florets of each would combine perfectly with the essence of the dish. If you intend to add asparagus to the mix, try to stay British (if in Britain), as you’re likely to purchase a crisper shoot. Indeed, there’s some exceptional Wye Valley asparagus in most green grocers at the moment (In Bristol, at least).

Springtime Minestrone

Whatever form your minestrone takes, make sure to keep it season as it’s the whole point of the exercise. Besides, being fully aware of seasonal produce can really help keep food expenditure down as supply of certain ingredients increases during defined times of the year. An added benefit of shopping with seasonality in mind is that your vegetables and fruit and likely to be at their best. For instance, in the summer strawberries will be at their sweetest and most vibrant and in spring asparagus at its crispest.

n.b. I hope you like my new green bowls! (£2.99 each, down from £15)

Springtime Minestrone

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

• 1 onion, finely sliced

• 1 stick of celery, finely sliced

• 1 bulb of fennel, roughly chopped

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 1 tomato, squished

• 50g of bacon or pancetta, finely chopped

• 1-1.5 litres chicken stock

• 2 bay leaves

• A few sprigs of fresh thyme

• 100g dried spaghetti, broken up

• 30g butter

• 80g garden peas

• 2 spring onions, finely sliced

• Olive oil

• Salt

• Pepper

Method:

1. Begin by frying your onion, celery, fennel and garlic in a good slosh of olive oil. Once soft add the bacon/pancetta and allow to colour a little. Add the tomato and 1 litre of the stock, bay leaves, thyme and butter. Leave to simmer for half an hour with the lid on.

Springtime Minestrone

2. Remove the thyme twigs, add the spaghetti and cook until soft. Tip in the peas, boil for a further 5 minutes, top up with more stock if necessary, season and serve topped with spring onions.

Springtime Minestrone

Cost: As a hearty, seasonal soup, this minestrone performs in every category of frugal feeding. Indeed, the entire pot, plenty for four, should set you back no more than around £3.20 – a truly cost-effective treat!

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107 comments on “Springtime Minestrone

  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    April 16, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Lovely soup. Great to do different seasons and it’s a meal in itself! Looks great in the new green bowls.

  2. discountess
    April 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  3. swedenole13
    April 16, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    You sold me on this. Pictures are surely worth a thousand words but this one speaks to my stomach! Thank you!!!!!

  4. Somer
    April 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I loved your autumnal minestrone, this one looks lovely as well! I love those little soup pots!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks, Somer – I want to see a vegan version of this :D

      • Somer
        April 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        C’mon, I all ready did a vegan minestrone http://vedgedout.com/2012/11/26/breaking-a-fast-quinoa-minestrone/ And a Frugal Post! It’s your turn ;) Although liquid smoke would replace the smoky flavor nicely, plus there is vegan “chicken” stock….

        • Admin
          April 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

          Totally not good enough :D – perhaps I’ll do something very vegan soon :D. I have the VVP to do too.

          • Somer
            April 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm

            Haha! I’m totally stressed about the VVP. It’s not just the post, but I play good cop bad cop all day the event of. No one gets how to link, heaps don’t post… It’s a bit of a mess. Ah well.

          • Admin
            April 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm

            Nothing you can do about that – relax :D

          • Somer
            April 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

            …trying…

  5. cookinginsens
    April 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Those are absolutely precious Staub pots! Beautiful pictures and recipe. Love those fresh peas.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      I thought you might like them, Rosemary… something else to add to the will perhaps?

      • cookinginsens
        April 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        Might as well :D

        • Admin
          April 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm

          Haha – I’ll leave you a little money for the shipping costs too.

          • cookinginsens
            April 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm

            You think of everything! Thanks so much ;)

          • Admin
            April 17, 2013 at 7:57 pm

            You have to in these circumstances.

          • cookinginsens
            April 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm

            :)

  6. Moira
    April 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Gorgeous pictures and the recipe sounds tasty and nourishing.

  7. catalinasanint
    April 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Gorgeous. This looks absolutely delicious!

  8. mittsandmeasures
    April 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Looks wonderful!

  9. baconbiscuit212
    April 16, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Oh, Nick! You and your pretty pottery to match your pretty potted things! Bravo! Looks wonderful.

  10. ohlidia
    April 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    This would be great on the grey and rainy day we’re having here. Now if only I could snap my fingers and have one of your lovely soup bowls magically appear before me!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Haha – I’m sure you could order them to you!

  11. narf77
    April 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I am going to rename this “autumnal minestrone” in homage to our rapidly approaching new iceage here in Tasmania. Cheers for the wonderful recipe :)

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Haha – that’s a good point. No problem, Fran!

      • narf77
        April 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        Sorry I have been quiet lately…it isn’t by choice! For some reason, I wasn’t able to comment on your blog using my new RSS Feed Reader but its all good now :) (you might regret it! ;) )

        • Admin
          April 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm

          That’s quite all right… though I had noticed :D. Glad it has all been fixed!

          • narf77
            April 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm

            You may live to regret saying that Nick! ;). Are you entering the Virtual Vegan Potluck this year? Hope so, and Im entering as well! (Don’t faint). I O.C.Ded my way through my recipe the other day and have it all done and dusted and ready to post on the day :)

          • Admin
            April 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

            Of course – Somer makes me :D. I know roughly what I’m doing…

          • narf77
            April 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm

            Can’t wait to see, this year promises to be an explosion of possibilities :)

          • frugalfeeding
            April 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

            Indeed it does!

  12. Conor Bofin
    April 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    REally like the pots. Beautiful presentation too. It is still cold enough for soup here in Dublin. I wish it wasn’t.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Thank you, Conor. It is here too… I also wish it wasn’t.

  13. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    April 16, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Looks and sounds delicious – perfect for this cooler weather we’ve been having! Pretty green bowls too – do they go in the dishwasher? :)

  14. cbogosian2
    April 16, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Yum! Sounds delicious. Love the serving dishes too!

  15. Deborah DeLong
    April 16, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    This looks wonderful! What a great idea!!

  16. Misky
    April 16, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    This is a dream, and I am looking forward to making this soup as soon as my hob is reconnected to the gas supply.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Ah – I hope that happens soon. Wish I had a gas hob :(

  17. Zoe
    April 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    I love the springtime take on minestrone. Great idea. I can’t wait to try!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks – I’m looking forward to doing a summer version :D

  18. a toast and tea
    April 16, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I love those bowls! And completely agree about eating seasonal produce – everything is better in seaon :).

  19. Lazy Suzan
    April 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Looks great! I love all the color in them.

  20. angelica | table twenty eight
    April 17, 2013 at 1:01 am

    A wonderful example of seasonal cooking at its best! I’ll have to have a look at your autumnal minestrone recipe as we’re in the midst of it here in Western Australia…

    • Megan
      April 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Sorry to interrupt. I’m also from Western Aus (Perth). and with 30 + degrees we can barely call it autumn. Gosh darn ozone layer I just want soup dammit.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks – you should, it was delicious.

  21. cornstalk
    April 17, 2013 at 4:00 am

    I just made this for my lunch and it’s delicious! I used carrot instead of celery because it’s Autum in Tassie, plus i had no celery. I love these tastey recpies where i have all the ingredients on hand.

  22. saucygander
    April 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Your green bowls were almost the first thing I noticed, after the soup of course.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Aren’t they amazing?!

      • saucygander
        April 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

        OK, so the bowls were the first thing I noticed…but the soup was a close second! ;-)

  23. Meredith
    April 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Sounds yummy.

  24. Molly
    April 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Your photos make me happy! Props. Frugal4lyf.
    xAllergies4Less Girl.

  25. Karista
    April 17, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Well isn’t this just so delicious! Just what I’m in need of this week. A springtime Minestrone. Still cold here and a spring soup is perfect. I have to tell you, your blog is looking super sharp Frugal. As is your photography. Fabulous!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks so much, Karista! Lovely compliments – it’s warming up here, thank god.

  26. RoxieGinger
    April 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    As a fellow soup lover, this is on definitely on the to-do!

  27. Sara
    April 18, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Looks super yum!!

  28. Sophia
    April 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Ha! I did notice those Staub bowls immediately – I have been lusting after something similar for a while but have been put off by the price tag so lucky you for finding them at such a great price!

    The soup looks wonderful by the way – I love a good Minestrone and this looks exactly the way it should be, showcasing the best of spring in vegetable form without cooking anything to death! And beautiful shots as well!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 18, 2013 at 10:57 am

      I know! I was so happy :). Thank you very much – I love to showcase seasonality.

  29. Yheela
    April 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

    I really must try this, I’m salivating just reading the recipe…

  30. 5to9foodies
    April 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    This looks DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing! We could also use some hot soup that also reminds us of Spring during all of this wintery weather!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks! Luckily the weather is getting better :D

  31. Miss P
    April 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    this looks amazing. I am going to try!!!

  32. lovinghomemade
    April 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Looks great – what a great bargain on the bowls!

  33. The Fine Duchess
    April 19, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Delicious! I intend on making this tonight!

  34. thelittleloaf
    April 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Your bowls are super pretty! Bring on the Spring :-)

  35. cecilia
    April 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

    fantastic but now I must zoom down and see your spring roll .. i love spring rolls even more than minestrone and I love this minestrone a lot!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Haha – spring rolls are amazing. I must make some more!

  36. noah1313
    April 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    looks utterly inviting..bet it tastes good

  37. Musing Mar
    April 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    The combination of flavours in this soup is perfect for spring, so fresh and light.

  38. Veronica Sheppard
    April 22, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I’d love to make a veggie version of this, looks mouth watering! Your photos are great too

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      You should – the meat definitely isn’t necessary!

  39. Lady ID
    April 22, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I’ve never really had minestrone but I’m trying to expand my soup repertoire so maybe I will try this.I LOVE those bowls though – I wonder if they come in cobalt blue.

  40. Natalie Ward
    April 22, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I love a Minestrone, great for emptying the fridge! Yours looks so fresh & vibrant ….but enough of that I WANT those bowls!! *pouts*

  41. Kim Bultman
    April 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Seasonal soup is a great idea! Prior to this, I pegged minestrone as a winter soup. Very grateful for your year-round culinary vision!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      I did too – but now I definitely see it as suitable for all seasons!

  42. Anastasia
    April 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Ok, forget about the soup – I’m drooling over the pots! Well, the soup looks drool-worthy too!

  43. Ashok Tewari
    April 24, 2013 at 3:12 am

    My kind of food blog …

  44. denise and sandy
    April 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    absolutely beautiful photo of a beautiful soup. i can almost taste it.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you so much – you’ll definitely be able to taste it if you make some…

  45. strippedcanvas
    April 29, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Omg! All your photos are tantalizinggg

  46. Eileen
    May 7, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Made this with vegetable stock and no bacon – Amazing!

  47. murphbaley
    March 26, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I made this recipe tonight for my family of four, my husband and I plus 2 kids ages 5 and 2yo. It was a huge hit, def will be making again. It is super rare that both kids enjoy the same dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love your photos and your blog.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      Fantastic – great to hear that you and your family liked it!

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