Quick minestrone

Using canned beans means this rustic, thick and nourishing soup is ready in no time at all.

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 carrots, diced

2 sticks of celery or small bulb of fennel, chopped

1-1.5L water

420g canned crushed tomatoes

2 bay leaves

2-3 small handfuls of pasta shells or macaroni (you can use gluten-free)

400g canned mixed beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped parsley to serve

Toasted bread to serve


1. In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté onion, carrots and celery or fennel for 5-10 minutes or until softened.

2. Add water, tomatoes and bay leaves and gently bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the pasta and continue cooking until the pasta is almost cooked – about 12 minutes – before adding the beans to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. To serve, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lovely, crusty bread.

Nici’s note:

When using canned beans, always drain and rinse them well. You can use dried beans too – just soak them overnight, drain then cover with water and boil for 30-40 minutes or until softened.

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