Serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 min | Cooking: 30 minutes
Minestrone needn't take hours to prepare. Our version of the classic Italian soup uses tasty shortcuts to lesson the cooking time. It's spiced up with our very own Italian pork meatballs and it's both nourishing and delicious. It only uses half a pack of meatballs, so I encourage you to make a double batch as you will definitely want some for lunch the next day.
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
250g Lúnasa Farm Italian pork meatballs, crumbled (or good quality pork and fennel sausages, casings removed, filling crumbed)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 celery stalks, diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock/bone broth
400g canned chopped tomatoes
2 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
80g soup pasta such as fregola, risoni (orzo) or stelline
400g canned cannellini beans
2 cups baby spinach
Finely grated parmesan and extra virgin olive oil to serve
1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat, add the meatballs and fry until just browned (4-6 minutes), adding the fennel seeds and the chilli in the last minute of cooking.
2. Add the celery, onion, carrot and garlic to the saucepan. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to become golden (5-7 minutes). Add the stock, tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaves, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer until al dente, adding the cannellini beans in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Turn of the heat and stir through the spinach.
3. Season to taste, divide among bowls, top with parmesan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Delicious served with crusty sourdough.