Phil Vickery’s minestrone and green beans

A hearty soup that is adaptable to use ‘what’s-in-the-fridge’ vegetables. You can use any mix of beans. I’ve added a bit of miso paste to make the flavour sing; feel free to play around with herbs and spices, too. If you have time to simmer this pot for longer than 30 minutes, the vegetables will be softer and taste even better.

phil vickery minestrone
Kate Whitaker

SERVES 4

PREPARATION TIME 15 MINUTES 

COOKING TIME 40 MINUTES

1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 celery stick, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 courgette, cut into small dice
200g mushrooms
400g can chopped tomatoes
500ml reduced-salt vegetable or chicken stock
1 tsp dried Italian mixed herbs or oregano
1 tsp miso paste (optional)
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
200g spinach, washed, chopped and tough stalks removed
handful of fresh basil leaves
handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)

freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp grated parmesan

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a fairly high heat then fry the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, courgette and mushrooms for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.

2. Add the tomatoes, stock, dried herbs and miso, if using, then bring to a boil. Add the beans, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes (the vegetables will still have some bite and texture after this time).

3. Remove from the heat, stir through the spinach, basil and parsley and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Taste and season with black pepper. Serve in four bowls and add a teaspoon of cheese for each, if using.

NUTRITION TIP Like all beans, cannellini contain fairly high amounts of carbohydrate but a significant proportion is pure fibre so they will help keep you full for longer. They have a lower GI than potatoes and are also low in fat and full of protein.

ENERGY 215kcals PROTEIN 16g FAT 7.3g SATURATED FAT 3.3g CARBOHYDRATE 22g TOTAL SUGARS 11g SALT 0.5g SODIUM 215mg FIBRE 10g

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phil vickery diabetes meal plannerDiabetes Meal Planner by Phil Vickery will be published by Kyle Books on 8 June, price £22. To order a copy for £11 until 14 June, go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUVICKERY at the checkout. Book number: 9780857837783. For terms and conditions see www.whsmith.co.uk/terms