As the last wisps of summer are carried away on an autumnal breeze, it’s time to rug up and get ready for Australia’s winter months. Before we face the full brunt of bitingly cold mornings and crisp afternoons however, we’ll be eased into the cooler side of things with our friend Autumn. Colder months also have a tendency to alter our tastes, including what we feel like when preparing dinner for the days ahead. This month to help start you off, we’ve concocted our special child-friendly minestrone: packed with the goodness of vegies with the familiarity of pasta.
Feel free to substitute different vegies for different tastes, but don’t be afraid to run with the usual suspects like diced carrots and peas. Including newer ingredients like chopped celery, a little bit of leek, and some shredded cabbage may be cloaked by the delicious tomato and pasta broth to help get you and your little one through those colder days. Fortunately, celery tends to dissolve into the soup but it’s nice knowing its goodness is still intact even if you can’t see it.
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium leek, trimmed, washed and finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 medium to large carrots, chopped
- Can of chopped tomatoes, 400 grams
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 2 cups of shredded green cabbage
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup dried favourite pasta
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Grated Parmesan to serve
- Heat some olive oil over a medium heat in a large pot.
- Add chopped onions, leeks, celery, and carrots. Note: For maximum health benefits, always leave chopped celery and onions for a few minutes before cooking
- Stirring constantly, cook for several minutes before placing the lid on the pot and leave the vegetables sweat. This releases their goodness and allows their flavours to mix.
- Stir in chopped tomatoes and the chopped garlic and simmer for 15 minutes
- Pour in the vegetable stock, adding the shredded cabbage and herbs as you go
- Squeeze in tomato paste as you stir and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and let simmer for another 15 minutes
- Add frozen peas and pasta, leave to simmer for a further 15 minutes
- If your mixture is too thick, add more stock where needed.
- Ladle generously, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and enjoy!