Sunday, July 20, 2014


So this little space is all about Stuff I Love.

One of the things I love most is cooking.

When you watch cooking shows or chef's speak and they talk about how food changed their life or cooking helped them through a difficult time - that is me.  I just love cooking.  There is nothing better in the whole world than cooking a meal and having someone you love tell you they enjoyed it.  If I care for you, I cook for you!

It must be the Italian part of my blood.

So today I am sharing with you my super-simple minestrone that I've made a big pot of this afternoon.  It changes every time according to what's in the fridge/what's in season/how I feel, but this is how it went down tonight.


As I said this changes every time I make it so I've written below what I've done today and listed at the bottom other vegetables and legumes that would work well.

- 1 head of broccoli, roughly chopped
- 1/4 of a cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1/2 a small pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 3 large cloves of crushed garlic
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1/4 of a large cabbage, shredded
- 1 can of cubed or crushed tomatoes
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind
- 1 glug of olive oil (it does add to the flavour)
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed well
- 1 handful of pasta (optional - I used fettuccine, about 100 grams for the whole pot)

1. Place all the ingredients except the chickpeas and pasta in a large pot and cover with water.
2. Bring to the boil and cook until the pumpkin starts to fall apart.  The longer you let it cook, the thicker the pumpkin will make the soup as it breaks down.
3. 10 minutes before serving, add the rinsed chickpeas and the pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente.
4. Remove the parmesan rind (if you can find it), season with salt and serve! (with extra parmesan on top if you're a fan!)

.. this is why I make this, easy, tasty, healthy!

The amount I made today would serve up about 6-8 plates I think.

You could also add/use;
- White or sweet potato
- Peas
- French beans
- Broad beans
- Fresh tomato
- Chilli (I like to leave a whole fresh chilli in while I cook but I had none!)
- Butter beans, kidney beans, lentils, split peas or barley (if not canned obviously add at the beginning)
- Swede
- Onion
- Carrots
- Rice or quinoa instead of pasta - or none.
- Herbs (oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, a small amount of thyme or basil work best)
- If you're the type to keep some in the fridge, it's really yummy served with some basil pesto on top.

If you want to make it like my Nonna (which, I have to say, is the tastiest Minestrone in the world), add much more olive oil, grate insane amounts of cheese into the pasta, remove the broccoli, add potato and add a can of lentils.
Let me know if you try out your own version of minestrone...

Nat x


  1. Snap! We had minestrone last night too! Mine's a combination of a SMH/The Age recipe ( and one from delicious. ( And I definitely second the pesto idea, I don't always do it, but when I do I wonder why not!

    1. Hi Piper.. Minestrone is so good in winter! Great minds...
      Thanks for the links! They remind me that I should've put a note for the non-vegos that ham hock/bacon/pancetta is amazing in minestrone too.
      I never use stock.. perhaps only because my family never did.
      Thanks for stopping by! x