Friday, 25 February 2011

Marinated Minestrone

I have so many cookbooks and bookmarks full of recipes that I would love to try. Yet so many evenings I don't know what to make. One source of inspiration has been a weekly e-recipe from the Vegetarian Times magazine. This week I was taken with what they called Minestrone with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and White Beans. I tweaked and tinkered and ended up with a very pleasing soup.

My version looked nothing like Vegetarian Times. I treat soups as a way to clear out the kitchen. I found some soup pasta that had been in the kitchen for too long, an ageing job lot of cauliflower and broccoli, and a tub of marinated vegetables that was past the best by date. All went in the pot.

I made a deconstructed version of our meal for Sylvia but was pleased that she ate a bit of pasta and beans from my bowl. Not much. Just enough to show she is willing to try some new flavours. She still surprises me in what she will and wont eat. On Monday I made a mash with potato, milk, cashew butter, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice and smoked paprika. She was shovelling it into her mouth, though I suspect she loved it more because she ate it off my plate. E also enjoyed the soup.

I was surprised that one comment said it didn't need salt. I use more salt these days than I used to but I found that the marinating juices of the sun dried tomatoes gave plenty of flavour without additional seasoning. I even ended up deciding against using fresh basil and just used it as a garnish at the end.

I found that the pasta really soaked up the water. I would probably use a bit more than a litre next time because by the time I stored the leftovers in the freezer, the liquid had all but been absorbed. No matter. I am looking forward to eating this soup for lunches.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Court Jester Cafe - chaotically charming
This time two years ago: Salad Sandwich
This time three years ago: If music be the food...

Marinated Minestrone
adapted from Vegetarian Times
serves 6
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I only used 3 but prefer more)
  • 400g mix of chopped cauliflower and broccoli
  • 1 litre of water, or more
  • 1 packed cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (I drained and used the contents of a 240g packet of semi-sun dried tomatoes marinated in garlic and herbs in a low fat vinaigrette)
  • 1 small tub of marinated vegetables (optional)
  • 400g tin of cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup soup pasta (a bit like orzo)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (or chopped green beans)
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar (I didn't use this because my sun-dried tomatoes were vinegary enough)
Heat oil in a stockpot and fry onions, carrots and celery for about 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cauli/broccoli and continue to fry until vegetables are just starting to soften. Pour in water and add remaining ingredients except vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-20 minutes until vegetables are soft and pasta is cooked.

On the stereo:
Aguirre: Popul Vuh

5 comments:

  1. Ahhhh! That mash sounds amazing! The soup looks great too, but I'm seriously enamoured with your mash idea :)

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  2. I was tempted by the same recipe when it landed in my inbox. Your inspired version is even more tempting! I love the pasta stars, really cute.

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  3. Great idea. I love soups in winter, too. . . they are a great way to use a hodgepodge of ingredients. This looks lovely. :)

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  4. Thanks Hannah - the mash was great but it was one of those things I just threw in stuff without thinking I might blog so I don't know if I could recreate it - but I am loving throwing anything in a mash lately

    Thanks sarah - yes the pasta stars are so cute that I don't know why they have been so neglected - maybe they just seemed too special to use

    Thanks Ricki - it feels like wintery soup weather right now - which seems crazy as the end of summer is usually unbearably hot but I love soups so much I don't care

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  5. I love the sound of marinated minestrone! And I know what you mean about having tons of cookbooks yet not knowing what to cook. I spend so much time every weekend deciding on recipes. I should just pick 1 cookbook and work through it so I don't have to think about it and still get to try new stuff (and save time on searching for recipes!)

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