Traditionally a slice of pancetta is used to give minestrone it’s lovely salty base, but I’ve left the piggy out of the soup and found flavour with a good dash of white wine.
This soup cooks quickly, as there is little cooking needed for the veg. I stuck with greens, but of course the soup turned reddish with the tomatoes.
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive oil for frying
1-2 sticks celery, diced
50g tiny pasta shapes, such as orzo
100ml white wine, or whatever you have at the end of an almost empty bottle
1 tin canellini or borlotti beans
150g fresh or frozen and defrosted peas
100g shredded kale or chard (optional)
1 tin of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped — cherry are sweeter, so get a good tin
2 litres vegetable stock, you can make it from an organic cube or bouillon
Salt and pepper
In a large pot heat up the olive oil and add the finely diced onion, garlic, and celery and fry everything gently until they soften, this will take about 8-10 minutes.
Add the pasta and give it a stir and now add in the wine and stir and let it bubble for a minute.
Pour in the stock and the tomatoes and bring everything to a bubble.
Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot and give them a few minutes to heat up before adding the peas and kale.
Cook on a gentle simmer for about five minutes and season with sea salt and black pepper.
Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan or a squeeze of lemon and some good bread.