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Photo Credit: Marysa Chapman

How to Make Minestrone Soup

Like most people I know, I’ve always claimed that the most delicious food is made by my grandparents. When visiting their house, I’m often plied with lunch, dinner or snacks (and sometimes all three at once!) but the home cooked Italian dishes will always be my favourite. Having grown up in the south of Italy, my grandparents are fantastic cooks and so I’m always keen to learn everything I can from them. Even when I was younger, I helped to make biscotti or watch my grandma make pasta sauce, which is famous throughout the family. There was nothing more exciting to me than arriving at their house and being greeted by the aroma of a fresh tomato sauce cooking on the hob.

Nowadays, I try my best to recreate some of the dishes at university, although not always with enough time to do them justice. However, a one-pot dish that is perfect for after work or lectures is a minestrone soup. A rustic and heart-warming dish, it uses lots of fresh vegetables and can be adapted to your personal taste, for example with the addition of chilli flakes, or to use up any ingredients you have lying around. The vegetables listed below are the typical choices, but feel free to use whatever you have in your fridge at the time; courgettes and peas are other great options. Similarly, if you fancy using up some cooked chicken it can be a great addition to the minestrone (as seen in the picture) as it picks up the tomato flavour beautifully. Simple yet delicious, this dish is a true winter comfort food, and is the perfect choice for this time of year.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 parsnip
  • 6 small potatoes
  • 25g of tomato puree
  • 150g pasta
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Freshly grated parmesan to finish
  • Recipe:
  1. Chop vegetables into chunks
  2. Place vegetables into a large saucepan and cover with cold water
  3. Place over a medium heat
  4. Add the tomato puree and mix well
  5. Once simmering keep over a low-medium heat and top up with boiling water if necessary
  6. After 5 minutes or so, when the vegetables have softened slightly but are not yet easy to pierce with a fork, add the pasta
  7. Add salt, pepper and oregano to taste
  8. Cook until vegetables and pasta are al dente
  9. Serve hot, in a bowl sprinkled with grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper

 

About Marysa Chapman

Marysa.Chapman@student.reading.ac.uk'

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