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Posts Tagged ‘Minestrone’

Minestrone

This minestrone soup is from Jamie Oliver’s very first cookbook, back when his recipes were from the heart, had a simplicity and weren’t designed to be chucked together in 15 minutes. If you bake a ham be sure to reserve the water that you cook the ham in before baking, it makes a great ham stock for soups like this one.

Minestrone Soup – serves 6

  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 leeks, remove the outer leaves and dice into 1 cm cubes
  • 5 sticks of celery, remove the stringy bits with a vegetable peeler and dice into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 red onions, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 heaped tbsp of chopped rosemary
  • 850ml gammon/ham stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 3 handfuls of basil
  • 170g spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Put the olive oil into a warmed heavy-based pan and sweat the carrots, leeks, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary over a medium heat until just tender – around 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming off any froth that comes to the top. Add the cabbage, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, then rip in the basil leaves and add the pasta. Simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and season.

Serve garnished with the grated Parmesan and a slug of good olive oil.

(Original recipe from The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 1999.)

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A very filling dish that hits the mark on these icy evenings. Oh spring where are you?

Minestrone Invernale – serves many!

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 head celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled
  • 1kg Swiss chard, leaves shredded and stalks roughly chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin peeled plum tomatoes, drained of most of their juices, roughly chopped
  • 1 kg cavolo nero, stalks removed, leaves shredded (or use Savoy cabbage)
  • 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 500ml chicken stock or water
  • a few sprigs of wintery herbs like thyme or sage, chopped
  • Parmesan, for grating over
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in a very big saucepan and slowly fry the carrot, onion and celery until soft and dark. This will take ages. Add the garlic, chard stalks and half the parsley, and keep cooking, stirring so it doesn’t stick. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes or until they have reduced.

Add half the Swiss chard leaves and half the cavelo nero, ¾ of the beans, and the boiling chicken stock or water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. You can add a bit more stock if needed but the whole point is that the soup should be really thick.

Add the remaining Swiss chard and cavolo nero and blanch briefly so they are cooked but stay green and crisp. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.

Purée the rest of the cannellini beans coarsely in a blender, with a bit of liquid from the soup. Add to the soup. Stir in the herbs and serve hot with Parmesan and some extra virgin olive oil.

Tastes great re-heated over the next few days.

Wine Suggestion: This is a very rustic, country dish and would suit a similar wine with some earthy character. We suggest a Barbera or something Tuscan.

(Original recipe from The River Café Cookbook by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray, Ebury Press, 1995.)

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