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Minestrone Soup

Photography by Sandy Nicholson

Give leftover lasagne a tasty new lease on life in this unconventional yet hearty minestrone soup.

Minestrone Soup

Serves 10-12

1 cup dried great northernbeans (or another white bean)

1 bay leaf 

2 large scoops leftover lasagne

olive oil 

6 cloves garlic, minced 

2 medium red onions, minced

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 small carrots, chopped 

2 potatoes, diced

1 tbsp dried oregano 

1 tbsp dried basil 

3 cups cabbage, shredded

2 small zucchini, chopped 

1 x 790g can plum tomatoes,  broken into pieces 

parmesan, to serve

fresh parsley, oregano or basil, to serve

Soak beans in cold water overnight. Rinse, then place them in a medium-size pot with the bay leaf. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the beans are soft: about 1 hour. Check on them from time to time to skim off any foam. Drain and set aside, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.

Scrape the lasagne filling into a small bowl and cut the pasta into strips or squares. 

Place a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Pour in enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom. Add garlic, onion and celery. Cook gently until soft. Stir in carrots, potatoes and herbs. Cook, partially covered, over a low heat until tender: 10–15 minutes.

Push the vegetables to one side of the pot. Stir in the filling from lasagne. Bring the heat back up to medium-high, adding a drizzle of olive oil as needed to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. As the filling begins to sizzle, draw all the components in the pot together, then pour in reserved liquid from the beans.

Add cabbage and zucchini. Cover the pot and cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pasta, and top up the soup with water. As you are not using stock, add a good amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 

This is an extract from The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning by Carol Devine and Wendy Trusler

Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and cook gently so all the flavours come together: about 15 minutes. Make adjustments to the thickness of the soup by adding water as you see fit. Serve with parmesan and torn fresh parsley, oregano or basil.

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