This vegetable soup is inspired by minestrone, which apparently has no set recipe due to the nature of the dish. The origins of this dish are Roman during a time when the diet consisted mainly of vegetables out of necessity; this thick soup would be made using whatever leftover vegetables were available at the time. I didn’t have minestrone once while in Rome, nor did I see it on any menu but perhaps the Romans didn’t see the need to go back to times prior to 200 B.C. and stick to a frugal diet.
Since I got back from Italy I have been cutting down on my portion sizes and eating everything out of a small bowl. This vegetable soup is very comforting and as everyone keeps warning me that the worst of the winter is yet to come in England, this recipe couldn’t have had better timing. In the spirit of traditional minestrone where it seems anything goes, there are a variety of vegetables local to Jamaica that you would never find in an Italian kitchen, like yam and sweet potato, but they were just sitting in my fridge so they got thrown into the pot.
Feel free to make this recipe your own as you really can’t go wrong. Ultimately you will be making a hearty, healthy soup for you and whomever is at the table. It is perfect for families where dinners can sometime be a hassle or for singles who want to make a big batch in advance and freeze the rest. A lot of us have probably vowed to keep healthy this year and I am sure we are all doing well so far, even if it is only week three 😉
Live, Love, Eat!
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 piece of yam (same size as sweet potato), peeled and cubed
- 3 carrots, chopped
- ¼ white cabbage, shredded
- hot 600ml vegetable stock
- handful of green beans, roughly chopped
- 1.5 teaspoons thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and fry the onion, celery and garlic for 3 minutes until soft but not coloured.
- Then add the sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, green beans and yam and stir well for 2 minutes until everything is well coated.
- Finally add your stock and thyme. Stir well, season with salt and pepper taste and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Ladle into warm bowls and serve with parmesan cheese and chunks of ciabatta.