Now that the days are getting shorter, darker and colder, it’s time to start preparing lots of warming and nourishing recipes. I’ve pulled together some of my favourite “Winter Warmer” recipes that are ideal for the colder months, as well as this new recipe for an Italian Style Pasta & Bean Soup.
This is a great vegetarian recipe that is easy to prepare and makes a large batch so it’s perfect to freeze and have ready to go when you’re short on time. It’s a source of fibre, vegetables, plant-based protein and is low in salt too – it only uses marmite so it’s suitable for babies and young children as well. If serving for adults only you could add a stock cube as well.
This recipe could also be made in the slow-cooker, if you have one – just add all the ingredients, except the pasta and kale, to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 30mins before serving add the pasta and kale until the pasta is cooked through.
Italian Style Pasta & Bean Soup
(Serves 6 adults)
- 1 x medium onion – finely chopped
- 2 x medium carrots – finely chopped
- 2 x celery stalks – finely chopped
- 2 x garlic cloves – chopped
- 1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 x dried bay leaves
- 1 x teaspoon marmite
- 5L water
- 2 x tinned cannellini beans
- 150g small pasta (i.e. macaroni)
- 80g chopped kale
- Handful chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Juice of half a lemon (optional)
- Grated cheese – parmesan works well (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan until hot
- Add the chopped onion, carrots and celery and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until soft. Season with pepper to taste
- Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds before adding the chopped tomatoes. Allow to warm through
- Add the dried herbs, water and marmite and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with additional pepper if you like
- Add the pasta, beans, kale and chopped parsley (if using) and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to stop the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan
- Take off the heat and mix in the lemon juice, if using. Allow to cool slightly before serving in bowls. Top with grated cheese if you like.