The mighty minestrone

It's bright, it's cold, it's time for minestrone. Perfect for sick days and hangovers alike, I love cooking up a huge pot and just leave it covered on the hob over the weekend. The word minestrone comes from the idea of a big and very substantial soup, and is believed to PRE-DATE the Roman Empire! Woah there. Although there are many recipes using meat stock or leftovers from other dishes, the earliest origins of minestrone are said to be when the Latin tribes of Rome lived off a vegetarian diet by necessity, making minestrone vegan by default, which is truly the best kind!

Makes enough for four

1 pack of Pedon Italian-style minestrone with pasta (or use your preferred pulses and teensy pasta)
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped,
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1 carton chopped tomatoes
Handful fresh and ripe tomatoes
1 handful chopped basil
Salt, Pepper
Vegetable stock

In a large pan, sweat the onion for 3 minutes in a good glug of olive oil until it starts to go translucent, then add the carrot, garlic and minestrone mix. Add a little more olive oil to make sure everything is covered in it, then pour in around 300 ml of vegetable stock (or enough so it covers the entire mix, with an extra inch of water in the pan- as the pulses and pasta will absorb this). Leave on a medium heat for about 10-20 minutes (as per instructions for the pulses you have used).

While the minestrone is cooking, chop up the tomatoes into small chunks, along with the basil.  Add along with the carton of chopped tomatoes to the soup.

Leave to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pulses have absorbed all the flavour and the soup has thickened up- season to taste, then eat with plenty of doorstep bread.

Pronto! Perfect minestrone.