The Yaralla Kitchen – Minestrone

You don’t have to be Italian to enjoy this twist on the classic tomato-based soup. Enjoy a diverse range of vegetables and protein in a light broth that doesn’t compromise on taste. It’s low fat and good for the immune system with all those veggies.

 

Ingredients:

1x brown onion

3-4 cloves of garlic (or 2-3tsp of minced garlic from a jar)

Half a celery

2x carrots

1-2 zucchinis

Zest of a small lemon

1x tin of diced tomatoes

1x tbsp. dried oregano

500g chicken mince

Spices (to taste)

1L approx. stock (we used chicken stock)

3-500g packet of small-sized pasta, e.g. bow ties or shells

 

 

Method:

  1. Mix the chicken mince with the lemon zest and some herbs/spices of your liking (we used salt, Moroccan seasoning, paprika and chicken stock powder). Roll the chicken and spice mixture into balls about the diameter of a 20cm piece.
  2. In the pot you plan to make the soup in, fry the meatballs until golden on the outside. Remove from pot and set aside to drain on kitchen towel on a plate.
  3. Dice the onion, celery, carrot, zucchini and fennel. In the same pot you fried the meatballs in, fry the onion in a splash of oil until soft. Add the garlic, fry for a minute or so until fragrant.
  4. Add the celery and carrot to until the celery is tender. Add the oregano and fry until fragrant. Add the zucchini and fennel and stir thoroughly. Fry until the fennel is tender.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir through the vegetable mixture. Pour in the stock. Leave to simmer on a low-medium heat until the carrots are just tender.
  6. Add the pasta, cook in the soup until cooked through.
  7. Serve into bowls alongside bread or toast. (Optional) Top with parmesan cheese and/or basil leaves.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Tips:

  • Add fried 150-200g of bacon pieces or pieces of prosciutto for a heartier and more authentic minestrone.
  • Whole fennel seeds are a great addition to the spice mix used in your chicken meatball mixture.
  • Flesh out your meatballs by adding a small amount of plain flour or cornflour.
  • Cut your meatballs in half after frying them to make them stretch a little further and spread more evenly throughout the soup.
  • Apparently saffron really zests up this soup.

 

Fun fact:

The etymology of the word “minestrone” originates from minestrare, the Italian verb meaning “to serve “.