Friday, 13 November 2015

Winter Veg Minestrone

In the past week or so, the weather here has really changed dramatically.  On Monday, I had to walk between buildings at uni to go to yoga at the gym and then go back to editing my project, and the hood of my coat got SOAKED!  Meanwhile, I'm spending my evening cosy in bed with pillows and a good catch-up on Red Dwarf.  I've been talking to Saph Joy, who I met last month at one of the BBC Radio 1Xtra Academy Q&As (which I still need to complete my post about), and she's recently been considering going vegan after seeing Food Inc., and I told her to go and read the wonderful Ally's page on vegan meal ideas and that although I'm not currently a vegan myself, I have lots of vegan-friendly recipes on my blog.  When she said she'd look for my blog for food inspiration though, I realised that I'm so much more of a smoothies and desserts person, rather than a main meal one, so this is an area that I think I'll start trying to up my game in.  I found this recipe for winter veg minestrone in the January 2015 edition of the ASDA magazine, and being low in fat and containing 2 of your 5 daily portions of fruit and veg, it sounds like a pretty good idea for families to eat this winter to keep bugs away!

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons for the bread
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and finely diced
390g carton chopped tomatoes with herbs
3 tablespoons tomato puree
2 x 300g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
600ml stock made with 1 vegetable stock cube
100g spaghetti, broken into small pieces
160g baby spinach, washed
200g baguette
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft.  Add the butternut squash and cook for another 8-10 minutes, until it starts to soften.
  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, cannellini beans and stock.  Bring to a mild boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the spaghetti and stir.  Boil gently for 10-12 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
  4. Stir in the spinach and boil for 1 minute until wilted.
  5. Preheat the grill.  Slice the baguette and drizzle the remainder of the olive oil over the bread, then rub the garlic halves over one side of each slice.  Grill until golden brown and serve hot with the soup.

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