Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Minestrone soup

Friday 10.02am

Minestrone On the way back from The Round Pond yesterday we stopped to buy some strawberries and also some broad beans. the first beans to ripen in the year, you just know that Spring has properly arrived when they appear in the shops. And they are so pretty, encased as they are in their thick foamlike pods like the most precious and valuable jewellery. We were not quite sure what to do with them, especially as we were all in and out at different times tonight so Nicola suggested Minestrone soup, using whatever was in the fridge and some of the beans.

Minestrone is of course an Italian vegetable soup built upon whatever vegetables you have to hand, with a base of tomatoes and onions and thickened with pasta. The vegetables will vary but this is the version I made last night.

- Fry a large onion and a clove of garlic, both peeled and chopped slowly in some olive oil. - Meanwhile prepare the veg and add it to the pan. I used a couple of carrots, a courgette, and of course a couple of big handfulls of broad beans.
- Stir to mix it all and add a tin of tomatoes and some stock, I used chicken out of the fridge but vegetable from stock powder is fine. About a pint and a half, it will look quite thin but the pasta will soak a lot up later.
- Let the soup simmer until it is all cooked, about twenty minutes the carrots will take the longest.
- Add in a handfull of pasta, I like spaghetti (broken up).
- Let it cook until the spaghetti is tender, five/ten minutes I suppose I like Minestrone to be quite fresh tasting, so I try to cook it as little as possible and then as I reheat it to serve I add a few handfulls of fresh green herbs. this time it was a handfull of Oregano, a few soft Thyme shoots and a couple of handfulls of parsley both flat leaved and the other one (whatever it is called).

And to serve? Well parmesan of course if you want and although Nicola disagrees I think some bread with cumin seeds on top goes perfectly.

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