Winter minestrone

Had enough of all that food over Xmas?  Overdone your eating on ham, turkey, sausages and meat in general? Here’s a vegetarian soup to help you through the cold windy days……


  • 200 g (7.1oz) Farro semiperlato (or pearled spelt)


    Yummy soup

  • 4 tbsp Olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 Large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Leek, finely chopped
  • 1 Stick celery, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Medium turnip, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pinch Crushed dried chilli flakes
  • 400 g (14.1oz) Tinned tomatoes
  • 1 l (1.8pints) Vegetable stock
  • 400 g (14.1oz) Tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Bunch cavolo nero, shredded
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful Freshly grated vegetarian parmesan to serve
Rinse the farro in a sieve under cold running water, tip into a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 20 minutes while you prepare the soup base. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add the chopped veggies and cook over a low-medium heat for 10–15 minutes until tender but not coloured.
Add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute.
Pour the tomatoes into the pan, add the stock and bring to the boil. Drain the farro and add to the pan.
Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook the soup for 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the farro is cooked.
Add the cannellini beans and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.
You may need to add extra stock if the soup is too thick. Add the cavolo nero and cook for 3–4 minutes until tender.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, a scattering of grated Parmesan and slices of toasted sourdough bread.
Nope, this is not my own, this is Stella McCartney’s Winter minestrone, and I got it courtesy of  It just looked too good to miss out – so have a go and tell me what you think.


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