Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Simple soup

 It's beautiful here at the moment, we've had a nice run of sunny days, but boy is it cold in the evening. You'll find me permanently positioned next to our little table top electric heater once the sun starts sinking (shhh, don't tell the boys I'm hogging all the heat!). The only thing to do when cold seeps in down to your bones of course is make soup and this recipe is from Australian Women"s Weekly Vegetarian Cook Book. It's nothing fancy, just a basic minestrone, but it hit the spot last night.


Minestrone from The Australian Women's Weekly Vegie Food Cookbook
serves 6

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 trimmed celery stalk, chopped coarsely
1 large carrot, chopped coarsely
4 cups (1 litre) vegetable stock
1 cup (250ml) water
1 28fl oz can crushed tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, chopped coarsely
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
150g small shell pasta
14 fl oz can white beans, rinsed, drained
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsely
3/4 cup shaved parmesan

Heat oil in a large saucepan; cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Add celery and carrot; cook stirring, 5 minutes.
Stir in stock, the water and undrained tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Add zucchini, cabbage, pasta and beans; cook uncovered, about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Stir in parsely.
Serve soup topped with cheese.

Try and get a really good quality strong parmesan, it takes the soup from' meh, I'm a pretty basic veg and pasta soup' to a veg and pasta soup that's smoky, gritty, nutty and fruity. Of course I could be talking about myself there! Did you know that they test parmesan by having a master grader go round and tap the cheese wheels with a hammer while listening to the sounds created. The master grader or Consorzio, can tell from this if the cheese has undesirable cracks or voids inside. He would then mark the rinds with crosses or lines to signify a lesser quality cheese. Nowadays, they leave  any markings off the rind if it's of a lower quality. So when buying parmesan make such you can see the name of the maker on the rind.

Hope you're staying warm in your part of the world.

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