Monday, 28 January 2013

Minestrone Soup

I super LOVE minestrone soup - the proper stuff, mama's true Italian.

Its definitely something I would choose to have if it was on a menu. The flavour, the goodness, you can't really beat it for a soup.

I have created my own recipe 3/4 times now and thought I would share it. I use my slow cooker to do this but it can easily be done without, I just prefer the slow cooker way of cooking if its possible.

The ingredients as always can be varied but the more variety the better.

Olive oil
Carrot (diced)
Celery (diced)
Courgette (diced)
Green beans (chopped)
Leeks (chopped)
Potatoes (diced)
Dried oregano, basil
Chicken/Vegetable Stock
Chopped Tomatoes/Tomato Passata
Tomato Puree
Salt, pepper
Cayenne Pepper

Start with the olive oil, onion garlic (butter).

Chop all the vegetables and add it all in.

Add the herbs, salt and pepper (and any other seasoning you may wish)

Pour in the stock and chopped tomatoes/passata. Add the tomato puree and just a little bit of cayenne pepper (depending on the spice level but I like to give it just a little kick, not too overpowering).

I tend to use tomato passata rather than chopped tomatoes just because its thinner and I like my minestrone soup thin. This is why I tend not to add flour to my minestrone recipe but if you prefer it thick, flour is best used.

If cooking with a slow cooker, leave to cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

I top it off with parmesan to finish in true Italian style (sometimes I also add some tortilla strips with the parmesan just because I like it on some soups).

Optional additional ingredients:

Small knob of butter (just to give it some more flavour)
Flour (thickening agent)
Small cup of water (to water it down, if the flavour is a bit intense)
Striped lettuce leaves
Pasta (add 10 minutes prior to serving)

In terms of quantities of ingredients, I tend to use as much as I like for the vegetables but making it suitable for 2 people. I add quarter of an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, salt and pepper (approx. a teaspoon). 1 can or pack of tomato and 1 big sachet of stock (500ml). Chicken stock I find does give it fuller flavour so thats my preference.

Happy cooking :)

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