Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Basic Minestrone Recipe

This soup is so simple, I made it during CSI (and didn't mess it up). It's also very versatile - pick the veggies of your choice! So it's perfect for the Heart of the Matter #4, being hosted by Joanna. The challenge was for new ways with vegetables. I guess there isn't much new about minestrone, but it's quick, easy, tasty and comforting. So I thought I'd share it.
Basic Minestrone
2 Tbs olive oil
2 celery stalks
1 leek
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot
3 small chat potatoes
2tsp tomato paste (salt reduced, for extra heart healthiness)
2 bay leaves (if you look closely at the picture, you'll see Ryan is about to eat one. oops!)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (any italian herbs will do, though - basil, thyme, anything)
6 Cups of stock - vegetable or chicken. (I used 2 cups of chicken, and the rest vegetable. Again, if worried about sodium, you could substitute water for some or all of the stock)
1 Can of cannellini beans
2 small zucchini
1 Cup frozen peas
Sprinkle of grated parmesan, to serve.
Chop all the vegetables finely. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then saute all the hard veggies (leeks, garlic, carrot, potato, celery) until the leek is translucent. Add the tomato paste, herbs and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the potato is tender (around 20 minutes). Add beans and soft vegetables (peas and zucchini). Simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan, and basil pita crisp.
Wholemeal Basil Pita Chips
1 Wholemeal Pita bread
Spray olive oil
Dried basil leaves.
Spray the pita with the olive oil, then sprinkle with the dried basil and pepper. Rip into pieces, then cook under the grill until crispy. Eat as soon as possible.

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