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Winter Minestrone with Cheese and Basil Toasties

Winter Minestrone with Cheese and Basil Toasties

Brought to you by: OcadoLife
    6 serving
3.5 2 ratings Review this recipe

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 6

Food writer Sarah Cook’s Winter Minestrone with Cheese and Basil Toasties would make a deliciously light dinner or a hearty, satisfying lunch. The easy crunchy toastie adds a dose of golden, gooey bliss to the classic, veg-filled soup, which is ideal for batch cooking if you’re looking to fill your freezer. Inspired by this recipe? Save the full meal plan now.
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 1½ red peppers, diced into 1cm pieces
  • 1½ onions, sliced
  • 200g parsnips, peeled and diced into 1cm pieces
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 50g tomato purée
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 75g farfaline or macaroni (or other small pasta shape)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 (400g) tin pinto beans
  • 100g kale, sliced
  • 30g basil
  • 140g coarsely grated mature cheddar
  • 8 thick slices of white bread


Step 1

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, preferably non-stick. Add the celery, red pepper and onion. Fry over a medium heat for 10-12 mins, stirring occasionally, until the veg is soft and the onion translucent.

Step 2

Put the parsnips into a large pan. Add the celery-onion-pepper mixture, the tin of tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic cloves and pasta. Crumble in the stock cube, then use the empty tomato tin to measure in 3 tinfuls of water; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-12 mins, until the parsnips and pasta are soft.

Step 3

Drain and rinse the pinto beans; add to the pan. Stir in the kale and simmer for 1 min, to wilt. Season well. Roughly tear half the basil leaves and stir through.

Step 4

For the toasties, roughly tear the remaining basil leaves and mix with the cheddar, then divide over 4 slices of the bread; sandwich another 4 slices of bread on top and squash together. Brush the bread with olive oil and pan-fry until golden and the cheese is oozing.

Step 5

If you’ve made extra, the soup and the sandwiches (separated with sheets of baking paper) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Use a panini press to toast the sandwiches from frozen, or brush them lightly with olive oil and cook on a baking tray for 10-12 mins at 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6, until golden and the cheese is molten. Defrost the soup for 24-48 hrs in the fridge, or overnight at room temperature, then reheat in a microwave, adding a splash of water if it has thickened up too much. If you don’t have a microwave, reheat on the hob.

Tips or serving suggestions

425cals, 3 veg portions, 14g fat (6g saturated), 19g protein, 51g carbs, 11g sugars, 10g fibre, 1.7g salt

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