Best recipe: Minestrone

minestrone

We both thought that this recipe was delicious and that we’d cook it again. We used kale which came straight from our garden. Some minestrone recipes contain potato and pasta, but this one contains neither. It’s a winter version so it contains vegetables you’d harvest from your garden at this time of year. It’s quite a chunky dense soup, so you may like to add more stock or water at the end to give you the right consistency. I liked it chunky and dense.

Winter minestrone soup recipe
Adapted from River Cafe’s winter minestrone soup recipe. 

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
2 storks of celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 head of garlic cloves, peeled
250g kale, chard or cavolo nero, coarsey chopped
a handful of parsely, finely chopped
400g can peeled cherry tomatoes, drained of most of their juices
425g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
500ml homemade chicken or vegetable stock
sprig of thyme or sage, chopped
freshly grated Parmesan
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and slowly fry the carrots, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Then add the garlic and the parsley. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes or until reduced. 
  3. Add half of the kale leaves (or chard or cavolo nero), beans and the boiling stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining kale leaves (or chard or cavolo nero) and blanch briefly so they remain green and crisp.
  5. Stir in the thyme or sage and serve hot with Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2.

Cooked for the 100 recipes to cook in your lifetime challenge. 

Istarska minestra – Istrian minestrone (Croatian)

Istrian Minestrone

Cooked for the Croatian entry of the Euro Cup and Plate challenge.

1 can borlotti beans
1 smoked pork hock
1 cup diced soup vegetables – carrots, swede, turnip …
1 small tin sweet corn
1 bay leaf
1 cup small pasta shells
3 tbsp cooking oil
1 large onion, diced
1 can peeled tomatoes
2 tbps vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot, add the pork and cover with water to cook over medium-heat. When the pot comes to the boil, remove from heat and drain the water. Add fresh water to cover the pork hock, diced soup vegetables, corn and bay leaf. Simmer for at least 2 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
  2. After an hour and a half, cook the pasta separately.
  3. Heat the oil in a separate frying pan over medium-heat and brown the onion. Add tomatoes and borlotti beans, stir briefly and add to the soup along with the cooked pasta.
  4. Stir in the vinegar before serving. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove the pork hock, cut it into smaller pieces and return to the soup.

Serves 4.