Chunky Minestrone Soup

This is an old favourite of mine that I always come back to, especially when the weather cools down. It pretty much cooks itself, it's that easy. It's handy to get rid of all the left over vegies at the end of their use by date in your fridge. When I make minestrone I just chuck in what I have at the time - you don't have to use these exact vegies but the below is the combo I think gives the best flavour. 

1 tbsp olive oil
3 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 rashers gluten free bacon
2 carrots
1 zucchini
1 eggplant or 1 head broccoli
1 tin diced tomatoes
1 tin whole tomatoes
1 capsicum (red or yellow)
1.5 litres vegie stock
1 tbsp dried oregano, or fresh if you have it
2 bay leaves
1 small bunch fresh basil leaves
1 big hand full of gluten free penne or spirali pasta

1. In a large pot, heat the oil on a medium heat and add the garlic, fry until golden. Add the bacon and fry until browned.
2. While the bacon is frying, slice the carrots and chop the rest of the vegies into cubes about 3cmx3cm.
3. Add the vegies to the pot and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they soften slightly.
4. Add in the stock, tinned tomatoes and the bay leaves. Turn up the heat to high and bring to the boil.
5. Once it comes to the boil, turn the heat down again so that is gently simmering (bubbling slowly) and put the lid on the pot. Cook for one hour on low.
6. After one hour, remove the lid off the pot, give it a good stir and add in the herbs and the pasta. Cook for another 30 minutes on low, uncovered.
7. Serve with parmesan cheese and toast.

Notes for gluten free / fodmaps: substitute GF pasta and bread for normal, add chilli for an extra kick, onion for more depth of flavour, spinach for a bit of bite, and if you can handle the extra fibre, add in some 3 bean mix to make it extra hearty and more filling.