Sunday, February 22, 2009

Minestrone

I eat soup and minestrone: just to be with her alone, Angelina
Angelina, the waitress at the pizzeria

Thank you, Louis Prima. Now I can't make minestrone without you and your insane music popping into my head.
Minestrone, the pros: vegetable-laden, simple to make, low energy requirements, vegetarian, tasty, adaptable, cheap, filling, hearty, comforting, delicious.
The cons: none. It's the perfect thing to have simmering on the back burner on an overcast Sunday afternoon. Rich, tomatoey goodness, and you can feed literally THOUSANDS of people for about ten bucks' worth of ingredients.
When I was learning to cook at about age 9 or 10, my first recipe was tuna rissoles and this was the second. For my 14th birthday I got a huge stockpot (every girl's dream!) so I could make minestrone and chicken soup, my favourites.
There are recipes, and there are more recipes, but this is my recipe.

Minestrone

  • 2 cans of chopped Italian tomatoes ( I use La Gina)
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 2 onions
  • about 7 or 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 2 potatoes (optional)
  • about a cup of dried pasta (optional)
  • 1 medium bunch of celery
  • salt and pepper

Chop the onions roughly and throw into a gigantic pot with some olive oil. Cook for a few minutes or until translucent. Chop and add the carrots (peel them if you want to), zucchini and celery. Add cans of tomato, sliced garlic and the potato, if you are using it. Rinse and add cannellini. Then pour in enough water to cover the vegetables, plus about another litre. Bring to the boil, move to the smallest burner and simmer for about 2 hours. If using the pasta, add the dry pasta towards the very end. Taste and season.

I like to use either the pasta OR potatoes, not both. Add other vegetables like turnip, parsnip, green beans, capsicum and eggplant if you like. Some people add pumpkin: I think this is gross, mushy and too sweet. You can also add meat. I think the best meat option is Italian pancetta or sausage. Normal bacon doesn't do the soup justice. Minestrone doesn't freeze particularly well, so store it in the fridge and eat fast.

1 comment:

Megan said...

I love you but I hate minestrone and always will. Bleh. x