Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Summer Minestrone

I've tried selling Minestrone in Alresford Country Market in the summer but it just doesn't sell.  I guess people think of it as a thick chunky winter soup.

In Italy, pre-prepared vegetables for minestrone are sold in packs all year round, the vegetables varying with the time of year.  In summer you'd basically get courgette in it.

Makes 4 hearty servings

1 medium onion
1 large clove of garlic
100g bacon bits, lardons, leftover ham, chorizo
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of beans (haricot, cannellini, kidney, chickpeas, whatever)
1 litre boiled water
1 low salt stock cube (optional)
2 medium courgettes
1 handful broken pasta or small pasta for soup (I put 2 handfuls into the soup above to make it into a stew for dinner on a wet summer's night in the South of France )
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
1 tbsp chopped parsley or basil (optional)

Chop the onion and garlic and fry in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

When slightly coloured add the chopped bacon. Grate the courgette and add when the bacon is beginning to brown.  Fry until the courgettes begin to colour and/or catch on the bottom.  Add the beans, tomatoes, stock cube if using, and enough boiling water to just cover the vegetables. Stir, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pasta pieces for a further 10 minutes or until soft.

Serve with grated cheddar, or Parmesan if you have any.

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