Minestrone is all about the seasons. My initial intention had been to describe this as an “Autumn Minestrone” – unbeknownst to me, and somewhat embarrassingly, I’ve already written that recipe. So, what you have before you is to be referred to as a recipe for Kale and White Bean Minestrone. It is to be made between the months of September and November.
The absolute key to a fantastic and proper minestrone is only to include vegetables that are approximately in season where you are. If you’re having to ship that courgette in from Spain or your carrots hail from China, then get creative. Reading this recipe in the spring? Give my Springtime Minestrone a whirl.
One thing missing from my rendition of this recipe is meat. My partner is now a vegetarian – consequently, nearly all of the food that comes out of my kitchen is meat-free. Having said that, this vegan minestrone would absolutely benefit from a handful of crispy and salty cubes of beautifully cured artisanal pancetta. Don’t buy your pancetta on the cheap.
Your bean selection is also yours. My preference initially had been to use borlotti beans, but my cupboards were bare – so cannellini it was. Though that wasn’t a hugely disappointing outcome. Just make sure they’re small – a butterbean would feel ungainly and unbalanced here.
Kale and White Bean Minestrone
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 200g mushrooms, generously sliced
- 2 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- A sprig of two of rosemary
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- 2 400g tins of cannellini beans
- 100g spaghetti, broken
- 150g kale, roughly chopped
- Salt & pepper to finish to taste
- Drizzling the olive oil into a large casserole pot, begin to sauté the onion, carrots and courgette over a medium heat.
- After 5 minutes add the mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic. Cook gently for a further 10 minutes.
- Add the bay and rosemary, before pouring in the vegetable stock. Put the lid on your casserole and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain and tip in the beans, followed by the spaghetti, breaking it roughly as you go. Replace the lid and simmer until the pasta is just cooked (10 minutes).
- Finally, stir through the kale and leave to stand for a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and serve.
Cost: Let’s face it – a vegan minestrone recipe is always frugal. Little more needs to be said. If the entire pot sets you back more than £3 I’ll be hugely surprised! Adding pancetta? Well, I can’t be held accountable.