Our wonderful vegetable soup is different to our nearby Italian version in that it has more vegetables. A great soup for the Easter period.
Soup and more soup. Our house was constantly smelling of different soups over the Winter when I was growing up and all of these were mainly Maltese soups. Our vegetable minestra was a common soup made in our house and most of my other families homes during the Winter. Our families used to grow so many Winter crops in Australia and Malta which made it common sense to always cook this soup. It was perfect for when my parents would come from the farm in the evening. My mum used to just have to quickly go home while she was working on the farm and prepare the soup. She could leave then simmering ready for when they were finished. We grew almost everything on the farm for this soup and if we didn’t our family who all lived close by had something which was missing. Otherwise, my dad always brought home vegetables that we may not have had from the fruit and vegetable market in Sydney. They always went into the soup too.
I think the main difference with this soup and Italian minestra is that we do not traditionally put peas or green beans in. Some people still do however and no one is stopping you.
Enjoy on its own or even with some crusty bread and preferably Maltese if you can get it. The potatoes, pasta and lentils provide enough carbohydrates though.
- 2 onions finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 potato diced
- 2 celery sticks chopped
- 1 kohl rahbi diced or 1 turnip diced
- 1 marrow or courgette chopped
- 1 choko chopped
- 400 grams pumpkin chopped
- Small bunch spinach chopped
- 2 handfuls broad beans (use frozen if fresh is unavailable)
- ¼ cauliflower chopped (use leaves also)
- ¼ cabbage chopped
- 1 vegetable stock cube crushed
- Boiled water to fill pot
- Small bunch parsley chopped
- 100 grams brown lentils (already cooked)
- Olive oil and salt and pepper
- 150 grams small pasta
- Hard cheese to serve (optional)
- In a large pot fry the onion for five minutes until soft.
- Add in the garlic and tomato paste and fry for a minute.
- Add all the other vegetables and crushed stock cube and fry for another five minutes.
- Fill the pot with boiled water until the vegetables have been covered.
- Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 1½ hours.
- Add in the lentils and pasta and cook for a further twenty minutes.
- Add in the parsley and serve.
- As an option garnish with hard cheese.