Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cooks: Minestrone Soup

Last Saturday morning was a nice day to sleep in but I told myself to get up and go do something. So, half-asleep and still groggy with sleep on my mind and eyes, I shuffled to Tesco to get some ingredients to cook Minestrone (Mee-neh-sthron-ee/Mee-neh-sthron, HELP I still don't know the correct pronounciation) soup.

So like an aunty I went with my canvas bag (Saturday mah) and gathered most of the ingredients I needed fairly quickly.

At the vege section, I saw this tall rack of trays that had many people swarming around it, and found out that it was the fresh produce clearance/markdown area. So (like the aunty that I am) I went through one tray and saw rosemary. I dug a bit more and found basil! One pack of it for RM 0.45! PTL! So cheap ok, normal price is like RM 5 for one pack. And it's quite hard to find basil leaves, so I was very happy to find it :D

This recipe that I found in a cookbook of simple Italian dishes is ridonkulous. It says serves four, but it can definitely serve up to six. Here's the amount & ingredients, in case you're curious:

Minestrone Soup (from Food Lover's Italian)
Serves 4-6
Prep time: 15 mins 
Cook time: 15 mins
Difficulty level: 1/10 (5/10 for chopping the carrots)

4 tomatoes (dropped into boiling water for a few seconds, peeled, deseeded and chopped)
2 carrots
2 small zucchinis
2 onions
600g canned butter beans (substituted with chickpeas)
250g sieved tomatoes/passata (substituted with tomato puree)
750g vegetable stock (substituted with chicken stock - I used the Maggi stock cubes!)
Basil leaves

Chop the first four ingredients into cubes.
Heat 2 tbps of olive oil, then sweat the onions.
Add in the carrots and zucchinis and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add in the tomato puree and cook on very low heat.
Add the broth/stock and bring to a boil
Stir in diced tomatoes, simmer over low heat for 10 minutes
Stir in beans and chopped basil leaves, cook for 1 minute
Season to taste.

This chunky soup is great to eat with crusty bread. To beef it up, you can also add a cup of cooked pasta (like bow ties or spirals, cos they're cute) to the soup. It was an almost vegetarian dish...I just couldn't find vegetable stock cubes.

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