Hi folks I hope you are all well and looking forward to the weekend on this ‘hump’ Wednesday. Not sure we say it often enough, but I’d like to thank you for visiting our blog.
BBC2 here, and before I get down to the minestrone soup, I feel the need to have a long drawn-out discussion about the term “uppity,” regarding the Stilton and Chive Tartlet recipe and BBC1’s observations. Whilst it may be true, I was not pleased by the look of the of the puff pastry tarts, I don’t think I got uppity…and now I think we will draw a line under the incident and move conveniently onto the minestrone soup!
This is such a simple and tasty soup to make and it takes me back to my childhood. My mother would have a big pan of soup on the stove, as we children would rush in, hungry from playing out with friends, grab a bowl and help ourselves to the soup. Being of Mediterranean extraction, and having a multi cultural family, pasta and rice was a large part of our diet growing up. Coming from a large family my mother seemed to be doing one of three things: cooking; washing; or having babies, she did stop after ten babies…but kept on cooking and washing loads and loads!
125g/ 5oz bacon cut into small bits or “lardons”
1 onion finely diced
1 clove garlic finely chopped/minced or grated
1 medium carrot finely diced
1 celery stick finely diced
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
75g/2 ½ oz conchigiette pasta or any small pasta you have
300g tin cannellini beans
500ml chicken stock
300ml hot water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
In a large saucepan, on a medium heat, add the oil and fry the bacon until it’s browned and cooked, remove from the pan and put to one side for later but leave the oil in the pan. Now add the onions and garlic, fry for 5 minutes or until softened, then add the carrots and celery stirring them all together, leave to sweat down for a few minutes, ensuring that they do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the tomato puree and tinned tomatoes, mixing it all together and let it come back to a slow rolling boil. Then add the chicken stock and stir, leave to simmer for 20 minutes then add the beans (with their liquid), bacon, hot water and pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remembering that the bacon can be salty so add a little at a time and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.
Give the soup a stir now and again, to make sure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may need to add a little more water depending on the pasta you use and how thick or thin you like your minestrone soup. Serve with a generous grating of parmesan cheese and some good hearty bread.
BBC1: I don’t know, you post a little picture of some tartlets and you don’t hear the last of it…lol!
BBC2’s family is glorious, and many of them, including BBC2, have inherited what I nicknamed “The Jean Gene” many years ago. We were with Jean, BBC2’s mum, in the middle of a hurricane in Virginia Beach, VA, USA, visiting with two of his sisters and one brother who live in the states. When I suddenly realized his inability to sit still and do nothing came directly from Jean! She was constantly on the go…I suppose you have no choice when you have ten kids!
However, this minestrone soup is lovely and the other day I saw a great recipe for some rolls, that I think would go really well with this. Unfortunately it was after we had the soup, but next time! You can see the recipe via this link here: Rosemary, Sun dried Tomato and Parmesan Rolls, at The Boy Can Cook blog site.