A perfect solution for a cold night: a warming bowl of this chunky Italian soup. If you don’t want to add pasta, cooked beans or rice also work well and help to make this minestrone soup recipe a satisfying option, which is actually very healthy and nutritious.
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 carrots, diced
– 2 celery sticks, trimmed and diced
– 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
– 1 small red chilli, seeded and diced
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
– 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
– 1 tbsp tomato purée
– 150g spaghetti, snapped into short lengths
– 100g green beans, trimmed and diced
– 1 tbsp torn fresh basil
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– pesto, to garnish (homemade or good-quality shop-bought)
– sourdough bread, to serve (optional)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, fennel, chilli and garlic. Sauté
for 5 minutes, until softened but not beginning to brown.
2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, stock and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20
minutes, until the liquid has slightly reduced and all the vegetables are completely tender.
3. Add the spaghetti and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the spaghetti is al dente – tender but still with a little
4. Stir in the green beans and basil, then season to taste and cook for another minute or two, until the beans are
just tender. Ladle into warmed bowls, then add a swirl of pesto to each one. Serve with sourdough bread, if liked.
‘The Nations Favourite Healthy Food’ is the latest book by chef Neven Maguire. Since Neven took over the family business in 2001, MacNean House & Restaurant has been consistently winning awards for its food, service, wine offer and overall dining experience. In addition to his Neven Maguire Cookery School, where Neven presents a range of exciting cookery classes for all skill levels, he has also launched his exclusive ‘The Chef’s Table’ dining experience. Hosted in the beautiful and private surrounds of his cookery school, Neven and his team cook in front of diners and present the restaurant’s acclaimed Tasting Menu. Accompanying wines are presented and served by the restaurant’s sommelier.
‘Healthy Home Chef’ airs Wednesdays at 7:30pm on RTÉ 1 from January 27th. ‘The Nation’s Favourite Healthy Food’ is available in stores nationwide and online at nevenmaguire.com.