This is my absolute new favourite soup.
I know I shouldn't favour one recipe over any other... they are all my babies (kinda), but this one would get more pocket money than the others, for definite. I wish I could claim it as all my own idea with a touch of aren't I a complete genius thrown in, just to keep everything on the me, me, me.... but this Winter Minestrone Recipe is one I adapted from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa - to suit my own cooking style and recipe ingredients.
In otherwords, I made it as easy and lazy as possible. I really can't be bothered to cook pasta separately (as per Ina's recipe) then throw it in the pot when it's cooked - it cooks just as easily in the soup itself, as it does in a pot of boiling water - and there's less washing up to do. Win win.
I know it's on a Monday that I'm posting this, but it's NOT a Meatless Monday Recipe - it has bacon in it and chicken stock. I'm still no good at planning ahead when it comes to bandwagons I could jump upon. The fact that I've managed a few Meatless Mondays posts in recent months is pure coincidence and nothing to do with planning whatsover - I don't cook for my blog as much as I cook for me and Neil... especially in the cold, dark months at the end of one year and beginning of the next, because I have a hard time taking decent photographs in the light.
Which leads me to a favour I need to ask - Neil has mentioned buying me a decent digital camera for Christmas (I currently have a little point and shoot) and I was wondering what any of you might suggest I should look at? Our budget would be in the region of £300 (just under 500 American dollars). Any advice would be truly appreciated!
Thanks guys xx
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Winter Minestrone Recipe
Serves 6 (8 if you're tight)
Prep time - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 1hr
Total time - 1hr 15 minutes
You will need
A large soup/stock pot
1 tbsp olive oil
4oz/100g pancetta (or smoked streaky bacon) - cut into lardons
1 onion - diced (1cm)
2 medium carrots - peeled and diced (1cm)
2 large stalks celery - diced (1cm)
1 harlequin or onion squash - peeled, deseeded and diced (1cm)
4 cloves garlic - crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
2 x 14oz/400g cans chopped tomatoes
3 pints/1 litre 600ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
14oz/400g can of canellini beans - drained and rinsed
3oz/80g dried small soup pasta - ditalini or mini conchiglie
4oz/100g curly kale
5fl oz/150ml good dry white wine
2 tablespoons pesto
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the saucepan and add the pancetta. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and continue to cook stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes add the dried pasta and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf.
- Add the beans and heat through.
- Just before serving add the curly kale, and gently stir it through the soup.
- Stir in the white wine and pesto.
- Serve garnished with grated Parmesan.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa