Soups are definitely not my thing. Even in Winter months, when your body craves something comforting and warm, I would rather have a cup of tea than a bowl of soup. I find soup boring because I feel I am eating the same thing spoonful after spoonful.

For example, when you are eating salad, you can choose to put something different in your mouth every time: a slice of tomato and then a couple of olives with a salad leaf and then some asparagus with an olive again… eating a salad is fun! And for me, eating soup isn’t.

A couple of weeks ago I found a classic old family recipe for minestrone soup. My mum used to cook this soup at home as it is full of delicious vegetables. Sometimes she would put little pasta stars in it, and I felt it was amazing to eat miniature pieces of the night sky. Other times, she would put alphabet soup pasta and my sister and I would say to each other what sounds we were eating. Minestrone soup was fun to eat and all the colours from the veggies made it really interesting.

The Recipe: how to make minestrone soup

As in most Spanish recipes and despite minestrone being Italian, my mum would start chopping an onion and a garlic clove and stir frying them in a pan with some good quality olive oil. Then she would add all sorts of veggies, finely chopped. I used carrot, courgette, cauliflower, broccoli and even some frozen peas. I did not have the time to manually cut everything so I just put them on a blender and pressed the pulse button a couple of times, watching them closely to ensure the veggies won’t go pureed.

Once the onion and the garlic are softer and fragrant, I added all the veggies, a handful of little pasta stars (you can use rice too) and about 1 litre of water. Then, I seasoned everything with some freshly grinded pepper, a spoonful of nutritional yeast (which you can substitute by parmesan cheese), some grinded linseeds and a little salt. Let it cook for 45 minutes, with the lid on, stirring from time to time.

minestrone soup

The Outcome

When I found my mum’s recipe, I was not sure whether I wanted to make it. Over the years I have realised that some things that I loved when I was 4 or 5 years old don’t taste or feel the same when I try them again as an adult. A part of me didn’t want to spoil my memories and at the same time, I wanted to share the minestrone soup tradition with my husband… and I am so glad that I did.

This soup is definitely a winner because it is quick and easy to make, something that I appreciate with my busy Edinburgh lifestyle (even though it probably is not anywhere near to my mum’s life when she was my age and had two daughters!).

However, I don’t want to sacrifice quality over time as I think it is very important to eat homemade wholesome foods and plenty of vegetables. This is one of the healthiest recipes in my family book but it is so delicious that I actually had a bowl for lunch and another one for dinner. It can be feed to vegetarians and vegans as well as to people with a gluten intolerance if you choose to add some rice as opposed to pasta.

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