It’s quite fashionable to knock restaurant chains, but on occasion you can get a really decent meal. The old man and I stumbled into one the other day, when we were having hunger knock after a particularly gruesome gym class. I’m on a healthy streak at the moment so I choose the healthiest looking thing on the menu, which was minestrone soup. I was hoping for a delicious and filling soup, but what I got was a flavoursome, almost meaty, chunky soup. As my own carrots have annoyingly refused to germinate for the second time this year, I had to buy the ingredients, but the joy of this vegetable soup is to mix it up with whatever you have to hand.
Ingredients (amounts deliberately vague!)
Carrots & Courgettes chopped chunkily
Pasta or rice, I used orzo pasta
A tin of cannellini beans
Chicken stock cube (or home-made stock)
Sundried tomato paste
Hard cheese such as Parmesan or Gran Padano
Put a splash of oil into a pan and fry off your veggies. You’ll need to plan this a bit as obviously carrots take a lot longer than courgettes, and if you are adding spinach, for example, this can just go in at the very last minute. Add enough water to comfortably cover the veggies. Throw in your stock cube and a large squeeze of tomato paste. Also add in the rind of the hard cheese and it will soften and add a lovely cheesy savoury flavour into the soup. When the carrots have slightly softened, add in the pasta and then any other veggies. After about 10 more minutes everything should be soft. Pour into a bowl drizzle with a spoonful of pesto thinned with a little olive oil, and a sprinkle of hard cheese.
© Sarah-Jane and Stephen Lewis. All rights reserved.