But tonight I realised that all the dicing is well worth it. This soup is truly delicious, packed full of nutrients, fibre and antioxidants. It also fills you up without filling you out if you're worried about that.
So, I decided to adapt a favourite minestrone recipe of mine to suit my low gluten/wheat diet and use whatever was lying around in my fridge and pantry.
What i used:
1 x can of diced tomatoes
1 x can of chopped tomatoes
1 x cup of red lentils*
1 litre of gluten free veggie stock
2 x carrots, peeled and diced
2 x zucchinis, diced
2 x celery sticks, diced
2 x red onions, peeled and diced
3 x rashers of bacon, chopped.
1 clove of garlic, diced
2 x tsp of dried basil leaves (or a handful of fresh basil)
2 x tsp of dried rosemary leaves (or two sprigs of fresh rosemary)
1 x chili finely diced
2 x bay leaves:
So, as you can see from the image, these are simple, inexpensive ingredients. While cooking I did change my mind a little & added another can of diced tomatoes and three rashers of bacon (my naughty edition to this pot full of goodness) and left out the tomato paste. I also replaced the usual pasta in minestrone soup with lentils and they really won me over. The lentils give the soup a thicker texture & soak in the beautiful flavours. No need to worry about soggy pasta either.
How I cooked it:
1. In a large flame proof pot, fry off the garlic and onions and cook the bacon until it's slightly crispy.
2. Add the carrot and celery and cook until they have softened a little.
3. Fry the chili, dried herbs and then add in the cans of tomato & zucchini. Give it all a stir for a a minute.
4. Add the stock (warm in a glass bowl for 2 minutes in the microwave) and the lentils.
5. Pop in the bay leaves and let it all come to boil.
6. Once boiling, put the lid on and let it simmer for 40 minutes. You'll know it's ready once the lentils have cooked (they are soft and have expanded) and the veggies have softened.
7. Top with any fresh herbs you may have (I added some parsley from the garden) and some parmeson cheese if you like.
8. Enjoy with a side of crusty bread topped with butter- YUM! I had this soup with wheat-free sourdough spelt. Delish!
The end product:
My hubby, also my number one food critic, said this minestrone soup was "beautiful, amazing, one of the best."
Why, thank you...
I hope you enjoy it too.