Double-sweater minestrone with rice

Double-sweater minestrone with rice

By
From
Green Kitchen At Home
Serves
6
Photographer
David Frenkiel

Rich, hearty and full of flavour, this very Italian soup is what we turn to during those harsh Scandinavian winter days when we need to wear double sweaters and triple socks to stay warm.

It’s common to find pasta in minestrone but we much prefer rice. It feels like a more adult option and it has a nicer textural bite. Since none of us find any joy in washing the dishes, we also enjoy the fact that the rice is cooked in the soup and not in a separate pot. The addition of beans makes it substantial and filling enough for a dinner.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled
2 celery stalks, trimmed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 carrots, tops removed and peeled
1 handful fresh italian herbs, leaves picked
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
1.5 litres vegetable stock
100g wholegrain rice, rinsed
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 x 400g tin mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1 handful fresh basil and flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked

To Serve

Quantity Ingredient
freshly grated pecorino or parmesan
torn fresh basil leaves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium-low heat. Finely chop the onion, celery and garlic and roughly chop the carrots and herbs. Add the vegetables, herbs and spices to the pan and sauté for about 15 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the tomato purée, tinned tomatoes, stock and rice and season to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30–45 minutes or until the rice is cooked, stirring from time to time so the soup doesn’t burn on the base of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir through the beans and herbs.
  2. Serve topped with a sprinkling of pecorino or Parmesan, basil, seasoning and a drizzle of oil.

Tips

  • Many hard cheeses (like pecorino and Parmesan) contain animal rennet, which technically isn’t a vegetarian product, but there are rennet-free options available: they are often marked as vegetarian-friendly (or kosher cheese) but just ask in a cheese department if you are unsure.

    For a nut-free alternative, replace the pine nuts with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.

    For a vegan alternative, simply skip the pecorino. It is rich and tasty nonetheless.
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