We’ve had some pretty chilly days this winter and our educators and children at Aurora have been talking about the importance of staying warm. As well as piling on the jackets, mittens and hats, it’s also important to eat warming nourishing food.

We’ve already shared our recipe for Aurora’s chicken soup, and today we turn our attention to a hearty minestrone soup. This soup is super versatile as you can use any seasonal vegetables you have in your fridge including carrots, cabbage, beetroots, potatoes, peas, spinach and sweet potatoes.  Adding wholegrain pasta will add to the nourishing value of the soup and give you a burst of energy. Make this as an appetiser for a family meal; it’s super quick and will help boost your little one’s immunity.

Ingredients:

2+2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium ribs celery, chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups seasonal vegetables, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
1 large can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 bay leaves
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole grain pasta
1 ½ cups cooked beans
2 cups baby spinach
2 tsp lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Warm three tablespoons of the oil and saute the onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and salt for ten minutes.
Stir in the seasonal vegetables, the garlic, oregano and thyme.
Sauté for two minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes and the tomato juice. Add the water and broth followed by the salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Add the black pepper.
Raise the heat to medium and allow the soup to cook for 15 minutes, partially covered.
Add the pasta, beans and greens and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
Take off from the stove and take out the bay leaves.
Add the lemon juice and remaining oil.
Serve in four bowls, garnish with the Parmesan.
Enjoy!