Tortelloni minestrone: Swap the beans and pasta for 1 x 450g pack spinach and ricotta tortelloni. Add with the cabbage and cook for 5 mins.
Chicken and pancetta minestrone: Omit the oil and fry smoked pancetta cubes before adding the vegetables. Shred the chicken from the stock and stir into the soup once it’s cooked.
Gluten-free minestrone: Use 50g risotto rice or quinoa in place of the spaghetti.
Make the most of your leftovers and use a whole chicken carcass left from a roast to make the stock. Simply add it along with the veg and water, simmering for the same amount of time.
The stock can be frozen for up to 3 months. If you have any left after making your soup, freeze in ice cube trays to add to recipes that call for small amounts of stock.
In step 4, cook the veg for up to 20 mins, which will increase the depth of flavour, but don’t overcook it – the vegetables should be softened, but not browned, and still have some bite to prevent the soup from turning too mushy.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
The minestrone can be frozen for up to 3 months. This can even improve the flavour, though the pasta will swell a little. Allow to cool before pouring into a lidded freezer-proof container. Reheat either from frozen or defrost in the fridge overnight. Once piping hot, add toppings or garnishes and serve.