Healthy beautiful Minestrone

12 servings

150g potatoes

150g carrots

150g cabbage

50g celery

50g leek

50g turnips

100g diced onion

100g butter

100g bacon or pancetta

100g tomato paste

4 garlic cloves 

2 litres stock (chicken or vegetable)

1 bouquet garni (celery, parsley, peppercorn, bay leaf, thyme sprigs)

50g peas

50g beans

50g cauliflower

1 tomato (skin off, small diced)

80g spaghetti

salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes, carrots, cabbage, celery, leek and turnip into small dice. Cut cauliflower into rosettes.

Top and tail the beans and cut into small pieces. Remove the rind and slice the bacon. Sweat the diced onion in butter until softened. Add the bacon and vegetables and sweat - avoiding colouring.

Add the tomato paste, crushed garlic and any herbs (eg, parsley, thyme). Roast lightly.

Add the stock and the bouquet garni and cook slowly for 20 minutes. Add the peas, beans, cauliflower, tomato and cook for another 10-15 minutes. 

Add the boiled pasta and adjust the seasoning. Pre-warm the soup bowls and serve garnished with herbs such as sage/thyme or parsley. Serve with toasted bread and parmesan cheese.

Pumpkin Soup

Serves 12

1.2kg pumpkin

40g leek (whites only)

70g celery stalks

200g shredded onion

100g butter

200g bacon or ham bone

1.5 litres stock (chicken or vegetable)

Bouquet garni ( peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, leek, parsley)

salt and pepper, nutmeg to taste

Finely chop all the vegetables and pumpkin. Season and sweat vegetables in butter without colouring. Add the pumpkin and sweat off too until slightly tender.

Add the bacon or ham bone with the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and skim the top for impurities. Add the seasoning.

Add the bouquet garni (tied together or wrapped in muslin cloth) and cook gently until the vegetables are vwer tender. Remove the ham bone and cool slightly. Take off any ham meat for garnish.

Place the soup in a blender and puree.

Soup can be garnished with cream, fresh herbs, croutons or proscuitto.