This minestrone soup is from Jamie Oliver’s very first cookbook, back when his recipes were from the heart, had a simplicity and weren’t designed to be chucked together in 15 minutes. If you bake a ham be sure to reserve the water that you cook the ham in before baking, it makes a great ham stock for soups like this one.
Minestrone Soup – serves 6
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
- 2 leeks, remove the outer leaves and dice into 1 cm cubes
- 5 sticks of celery, remove the stringy bits with a vegetable peeler and dice into 1 cm cubes
- 2 red onions, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
- 1 cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 heaped tbsp of chopped rosemary
- 850ml gammon/ham stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
- 3 handfuls of basil
- 170g spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese, grated
Put the olive oil into a warmed heavy-based pan and sweat the carrots, leeks, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary over a medium heat until just tender – around 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming off any froth that comes to the top. Add the cabbage, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, then rip in the basil leaves and add the pasta. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and season.
Serve garnished with the grated Parmesan and a slug of good olive oil.
(Original recipe from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 1999.)