Summer Minestrone

I noticed a lot of bloggers saying that they couldn’t wait for summer to be over and autumn to come. Me, I’m all for summer to continue until the calendrical start of autumn. I want to enjoy every single nice day, no matter if the temperature is just pleasant or extremely hot. Because even though I like autumn, I know it will feel like forever until summer will be back next year, especially if this coming winter’s going to be as cold as the last one. So I’m sitting here waiting and hoping for Indian summer. And in defiance I’m posting this recipe for Summer Minestrone. 🙂

This is another one of the recipes I bookmarked from the July issue of essen & trinken magazine. And the ingredients were sitting in my kitchen / fridge from the weekend my stomach pains started. So once I was over that, the second thing I made was this soup.

And wouldn’t you know it – on the day I had planned to make this soup, summer suddenly returned with 36°C. I contemplated putting it off until another day but then decided that I love a cup of hot tea on a hot summer’s day, so I would surely love hot soup as well. And I did. But the preparations were tedious due to the heat. I was already breaking out in a sweat just looking at the vegetables. And while I was preparing them, my sister rang, and at some point – I had the phone clamped between my ear and my shoulder – I told her I needed to put her on speaker phone because my ear was sweating too much…

This soup won’t take ages to make, though it’s not a quick one either. But the result is very gratifying. I’ve made this twice already, this will definitely become a staple in my repertoire. What you do need, though, is quite a large amount of prepping bowls, just so you’re prepared…

Summer Minestrone

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 large onion
1 garlic clove
1 stalk basil
1 stalk sage
1 bunch parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
200 g bacon, cut into strips
2 l vegetable stock
150 g short pasta (e.g Ditalini)
2 carrots
2 large waxy potatoes
1 small zucchini
½ fennel bulb
100 g French beans
2 large tomatoes
100 g frozen peas
100 g canned white beans (e.g. cannellini beans)
freshly ground black pepper
80 g Parmesan cheese

Finely dice the onion and garlic. Pick herb leaves from their stalks and finely cut. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and fry the bacon at maximum heat. When bacon starts to get colour, add the onion and garlic and sauté at medium heat. Add the stock and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta, drain and keep warm.

Wash, clean and prepare the vegetables. [I recommend cutting and slicing them any which way you like them best. I sliced the carrots, zucchini and fennel. The potatoes I halved width-ways and cut into eighths. The beans needed to be cut in half due to their length, and the tomatoes I just diced.]

Add the vegetables to the stock in 3 minute intervals and simmer without lid: carrots, potatoes and fennel first, then the zucchini, French beans and tomatoes, and the peas and canned beans last. Once everything is added, close lid and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Divide pasta between your soup bowls, then add the soup. Season with freshly ground pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan shavings.

Some things I’d like to mention:
The original recipe asked for curly leaf parsley, but I used flat because I don’t like the curly variety. It also asked for savoy cabbage and celery, which I don’t like either.
The tomatoes were supposed to be skinned, but I couldn’t be bothered. I don’t mind tomato skin in my soup, and it added colour as well.
The bacon used in the original was finely diced smoked bacon, but I used normal bacon rashers.
As for salt, due to the bacon and the parsley, my soup was perfectly seasoned and I didn’t feel the need to add salt (even though I normally use salt rather heavily).
An optional the recipe stated was 125 ml white wine. I never have that at home so didn’t use any.
A great tip from Rivki over at Healthy Eating for Ordinary People for using the vegetable scraps : freeze the scraps and use to make vegetable stock! I’ve been meaning to do this for ages but have absolutely no space in my full-to-the-brim freezer at the moment, it’s definitely on my to do list, though.