Pumpkin Minestrone

Anyone who loves me knows how much I love both pasta and pumpkin. This delicious, easy and hearty dish ticks both of those boxes, with the added bonus of falling into the ‘soup’ category, allowing it to be enjoyed with zero guilt. Can I get a hell yeah??!

Ingredients:

Serves 4

All veggies used here were ‘medium sized’. I’ve listed weights for the nervous cooks but this is a very forgiving recipe so feel free to freestyle.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion
1/2 a hokkaido pumpkin (about 300g)
1 eggplant (about 300g)
10 brown mushrooms (about 200g)
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
1.5L liquid veggie stock
1 tsp dried oregano
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 zucchini (about 200g)
2-4 kale leaves (about 100g)
2 C (250g) spelt macaroni elbows or whatever other little pasta shapes you have available to you
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves and toasted sourdough bread to serve (optional)

Method:

Takes about an hour from chopping board to table.

– Dice the onion into 1cm cubes and set aside. Dice the pumpkin, eggplant and mushrooms into 1cm cubes and set these aside too
– Place a large pot on a medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When warm, add the diced onion and stir until clear
– Add the diced pumpkin, eggplant and mushrooms and stir for a couple of minutes
– Add the tinned tomatoes, veggie stock and oregano and stir so that everything is well combined. Place a lid on the pot and increase the heat until it comes to a boil, then lower to a simmer and allow to cook for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife
– While the soup is simmering away finely chop the garlic and add it to the pot, then chop the zucchini into 1cm cubes and add this to the pot too
– Tear the kale leaves off the woody stem and chop these into 1cm-ish pieces as well
– Once the pumpkin is easily pierced with the tip of a knife, add the kale leaves and pasta shapes and cook for the amount of time specified on the pasta packet – in my case it was 7 minutes but this will vary depending on the size of pasta you use
– Once the pasta is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes while you toast your sourdough. Season with salt and pepper and then give it a cheeky taste (be careful not to burn your tongue). Add more salt if necessary and then ladle it into bowls, garnish with additional cracked pepper and fresh basil and serve with toasted sourdough
– Enjoy!

Notes and serving suggestions:

spring
Earlier this year I was sent this exquisite set of cookware by Spring. Aside from bringing me immense joy every time I look at them, these pots are incredible to cook with because the copper retains heat better than the junk store cookware I was using before now. I did a test when I was cooking bulk amounts of black beans for a charity event, and the beans in the copper pot cooked faster than the beans in a stainless steel pot. True story! If you are looking for new pots and pans and you want something that will last you a lifetime, I could not recommend these more highly.

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