: A Simple Nourishing Autumn Soup

As the days become shorter and the evenings cool, we find ourselves turning to the kitchen to bring warmth. There’s nothing better than a candlelit mid Winter feast with friends. Here’s a recipe to see you through – hearty, tasty, full of vegetables and super healthy.

You will need:
1 bunch of basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 swede, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chilli, chopped
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
3 cups (750ml) chicken or vegetable stock
1 glass of red wine
1 handful of pearl barley
1/2 cup (100g) risoni pasta
400g tin cannellini beans, drained
1 bunch English spinach, stalks removed, shredded
Shaved parmesan cheese, to serve
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

note: for our gluten free friends, substitute Pearl Barley for Buckwheat and use your favourite gluten free pasta.

Pick the basil leaves from the stalks and set aside. Finely chop the stalks.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add onion, swede, parsnip, carrot, celery, garlic, chilli and basil stalks. Reduce the heat to low and sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until softened.

Add the tomatoes, stock, wine and barley to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the risoni and cannellini beans, stir well and cook for 10 minutes or until the barley and risoni are tender. Stir in the spinach and cook for a minute or so until just wilted. Season to taste.

Serve the minestrone topped with finely chopped basil leaves, parmesan and a good drizzle of olive oil.

This recipe is a variation of a gorgeous Minestrone, as published in A Basket By The Door by Sophie Hansen. Shop the book here.

Images via Instagram.