Sunday, 6 October 2013

Soup Sunday: minestrone

Minestrone is a sturdier, tomato-based and more wintry version of Italian wedding soup. But very similar in that it can be used as the final resting place for just about anything you have lying around. One thing that just about all the versions have in common is tomatoey base and the use of pasta and beans. Depending on the recipe the beans can be brown, white or kidney beans. Pasta on the other hand can be ditaloni, fusilli or staccatelli. 

I myself used the tricolori fusilli left over from St. Tropez salad because it also adds to the colourfulness. Another thing you can add as you like are the vegetables - I for instance dumped in the kale left from that quiche. And though I doubt I'll ever be a great celery fan, sofrito, that holy trinity of onion, carrot and celery does give the soup a good start.

Usually this soup, in its richness bordering on stew is all vegetarian but let's face it - good Italian sausage I used for this pasta too has never made anything worse...!

This serves 4-6 people

2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
1 onion
1 chilli
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
2 large garlic cloves
1,2 - 1,5 l chicken or vegetable stock
2 cans of crushed or tinned tomatos
100 g pasta
1-2 cans ( รก 230 g) cannelini beans (depending in whether or not you're using sausage)
(2-3 Italian sausages)
3 kale leaves
salt and pepper

fresh herbs (basil and/or parsley) to serve

If using sausage, squeeze them out of their shell in little nuggets and fry them. then lift them out and continue cooking the remaining ingredients in the fat the sausage balls have left behind.

If you're not using sausages, fry carrot, onion and celery (all cut to small cubes) in a pan in a little bit of oil. Then add finely chopped chilli, garlic and tomato concentrate. Toss them around for a bit and then add the tinned tomatos. Add 1 l of stock to start with and add more as needed. Cook for 30-40 minutes while and keep checking whether more liquid is needed.

Then add pasta and kale (if using), finely shredded. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes and then add beans. If you're using sausage, this is when you add it into the pot. Serve with fresh herbs.




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