Hearty Minestrone

Hearty Minestrone Soup - Good Mood Food by Donal SkehanThis easy ‘meal in a soup bowl’ is from well known food blogger Donal Skehan’s excellent first book Good Mood Food (Mercier paperback, €19.99). Hailed by RTE as ‘Ireland’s answer to Jamie Oliver’, Donal’s enthusiasm for good, simple homecooked food is infectious - and this ‘perfect winter meal solution’ is typical of his healthy, down to earth approach.

Full of tasty vegetables, and filling thanks to the pasta, it would be just the job for feeding hungry folk at Hallowe’en. “I use wholewheat spaghetti, but feel tree to add other shapes like fusilli or pasta elbows instead,” says Donal “If you don't have any paprika, you can get a bit of spice by adding a dash of Tabasco sauce, or a good pinch of dried chilli flakes.”

Serves 4
1 courgette, chopped into small chunks
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 x 410g tins cannellini beans 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped into small chunks
2 litres/4 pints homemade chicken stock
75g/3oz wholewheat spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons of olive oil
A good pinch of paprika
A good pinch of sea salt

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic cloves and onion for 2 minutes or until they become soft.

Stir in the celery, carrots and courgette and cook for five minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock, and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the wholewheat spaghetti, paprika and cannellini beans. Give the soup a good stir and cover. Cook gently for a further 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.

Season with a little sea salt and serve straightaway with a good chunk of wholemeal bread and enjoy!

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