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cheat’s minestrone

December 22, 2012

Serves 3
Prep time: 20 minutes including chopping time

Cheat's minestrone

This is a bit of a storecupboard special: a can’t-quite-be-bothered lunch that is easy to make but still manages to taste as if you’ve given it some effort. The girls and I demolished this earlier today to fortify us for the afternoon’s giftwrapping marathon.

When we were travelling in Italy we used to buy packets of frozen vegetables from supermarkets that were specifically for minestrone. There were always at least 14 different types of veg, ready prepped for whenever you wanted a quick but healthy meal. Since coming back to the UK I haven’t been able to find anything that comes up to scratch – our frozen veg mixes are really boring by comparison – but I’ve found that those jars of mixed vegetable antipasti can be quite a good stand-in.

Serve with a blob of vegan pesto on top and your favourite dairy-free garlic bread. We had the new Jus-Rol garlic pizza breads which I am happy to report are very yum.


One medium onion, chopped
One large carrot, peeled and chopped
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Garlic, one clove, crushed
One 400g tin of good quality tomatoes
One 400g tin of borlotti or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Mixed vegetable antipasti, one small tub or jar, drained well and chopped into bitesize pieces (I used the Asda’s chilled one that you find among the olives and tapas)
Spring greens or Savoy cabbage, two leaves, shredded
Dried oregano, 1 tsp
Vegan bouillon powder, 1 tsp
Salt and pepper

To serve: vegan pesto, vegan garlic bread

In a largeish saucepan slowly fry the onion and carrot in the olive oil for at least ten minutes until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and a good pinch of pepper and fry for a further minute or two. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up if they’re whole. Refill the tomato tin with water, give it a swill round and empty it into the pan. Throw in the beans and antipasti. Stir in the oregano and bouillon powder. Let simmer for about ten minutes.

Add the greens and cook for a further five minutes. Season with salt to taste and serve with a spoonful of pesto on top of each bowlful.

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