Friday, June 21, 2013

Loving Soup Minestrone

We have had a breakthrough this winter, the kids now like soup, I would go as far as saying they love soup! Even Willa, who is only 1 1/2, can feed herself a bowl full. At first I thought it was just pumpkin soup so stuck to that for a few weeks then I ventured into pea and ham and they ate that too. Then I just threw in all the vegies I had and made a sweet potato and random vegetable soup and they even loved that, in fact they requested it for the next few nights in favour of whatever else I had made. Imagine if I served them up a bowl of boiled sweet potato, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli; there is no way they would touch it but in soup form they are going back for seconds. I have to admit that sour cream and crispy bacon bits are a pretty popular addition.

This week we had minestrone. My wonderful husband had it ready when I got home from 3 days away. We weren't sure how the kids would go with soup with chunky vegetables, so we just pureed theirs, adding some cooked pasta afterwards. Again it was a hit with them and me.
This is probably my favourite soup. You can make it with whatever vegies you have on hand, I have included my favourites in the recipe. My Mum used to include a small piece of stewing beef in the soup which she would shred into the soup before serving, I prefer the addition of chorizo but you might like to try this.
1 chorizo, diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
1 leek, chopped (optional)
3 sticks celery
1 carrot
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
handful fresh herbs eg. parsley, thyme, sage, marjoram, oregano; chopped
4 bacon rashes, chopped
½ C red wine
2 L stock, chicken or beef
800g tin tomatoes, chopped
1 parmesan rind
2 zucchini, diced
½ cauliflower, cut into small florets
½ bunch silverbeet, stems removed and shredded
handful soup pasta or spaghetti, broken into short pieces
handful basil leaves, chopped
parmesan, grated
Heat a drop of oil in large saucepan or stockpot. Fry chorizo until golden, turning to cook all sides, set aside.
Heat remaining oil, cook onion, leek, celery, carrot, garlic, herbs and bacon over low heat until soft, at least 10 minutes. Turn up the heat and add red wine and allow to sizzle. Add stock, tomatoes, parmesan, zucchini and cauliflower and cook until vegetables are almost cooked. Add silverbeet and pasta and cook until pasta is done.
Serve with basil and parmesan. and buttered toast for dipping.

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