Warm up with this winter soup recipe

Use up all of your leftover vegetables in one go with this tasty soup recipe

Minestrone soup
Hearty and nutritious, minestrone soup is a tasty crowd-pleaser and is super-easy to tweak according to the vegetables you have in the house.

1 clove of garlic
1 red onion
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 courgette
1 small leek
1 large potato
1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
2 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
Olive oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 fresh bay leaf
2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes
1 litre organic vegetable stock
1 large handful of seasonal greens , such as savoy cabbage, curly kale, chard
100 g wholemeal pasta
½ a bunch of fresh basil , optional
Parmesan cheese

1. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Trim and roughly chop the carrots, celery and courgette, then add the vegetables to a large bowl.
2. Cut the ends off the leek, quarter it lengthways, wash it under running water, then cut into 1cm slices. Add to the bowl.
3. Scrub and dice the potato. Drain the cannellini beans, then set aside. Finely slice the bacon.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and fry gently for 2 minutes, or until golden.
5. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, courgette, leek, oregano and bay and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the potato, cannellini beans and plum tomatoes, then pour in the vegetable stock. Stir well, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
7. Cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through. Meanwhile...
8. Remove and discard any tough stalks bits from the greens, then roughly chop.
9. Using a rolling pin, bash the pasta into pieces while it’s still in the packet or wrap in a clean tea towel.
10. To check the potato is cooked, pierce a chunk of it with a sharp knife – if it pierces easily, it’s done.
11. Add the greens and pasta to the pan, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. This translates as ‘to the tooth’ and means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of a bite and firmness to it. Try some just before the time is up to make sure you cook it perfectly. Add a splash more stock or water to loosen, if needed.
12. Pick over the basil leaves (if using) and stir through. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then serve with a grating of Parmesan and a slice of wholemeal bread, if you like.

Recipe taken from Jamie Oliver