Life is a Minestrone
(anyone over 50 will remember the 1975 song!!)
Minestrone is a classic Italian dish prepared (albeit with a little Sue’s poetic licence) of more or less whatever you have left in the fridge or cupboard.
So, is perfect to serve at the moment, if you need to use up what you have or are deferring a trip to the supermarket, or you are able to not use a vital grocery delivery slot – that you may not really need yourself and someone else would really appreciate.
It is also cheap to make, wholesome, filling, nutritious and yummy.
You don’t even have to use the freshest of veggies and this recipe idea– should serve about 8 good bowlfuls.
– Start by chopping up a large onion or leek, a couple of carrots and 3 celery sticks (use the leaves as well, we don’t want to waste food).
– Now sauté them in oil (doesn’t matter what type, use whatever you have,) in a large lidded pan, until soft.
– Add a couple of tins of tomatoes and about 2 pints of vegetable stock. If you don’t have many tinned tomatoes, use more stock, but it is good with lots of tomatoes, even chopped fresh ones. If you have been able to roast a chicken and have the bones – then boil them up for a couple of hours in seasoned water and use the flavoursome meaty liquid for the stock.
– Now allow the vegetables and stock to bubble away for a good 20 minutes. Season and dare I say – add some sugar to taste – always a great idea to bring out the flavour of tinned tomatoes.
– Then add a good handful of pasta – anything – spaghetti, conchigllie, fusilli, does not matter; and a tin of drained beans or pulses – whatever you have – which could be cannellini, chickpea or butterbeans. Then finally a handful of shredded fresh cabbage leaves. Simmer away for about 10 minutes until all veggies and pasta are cooked. If you have some fresh herbs, perhaps parsley or basil that has seen better days- chuck that in as well.
And that is my version, but do make up your own with whatever you have – Add practically any chopped vegetable, even frozen ones, even ‘left overs’ from supper, add chopped potatoes to the veggies to bulk it up– or perhaps add some cooked chicken if you have it.
Just keep piling anything you have into the pan – although if you add too much, you may need more tinned tomatoes or stock or just seasoned boiled water, which is great – it just means there is even more to go around.
Very filling so good enough to eat on its own or with chunks of bread if you are really hungry.
Enjoy and feel good that you have made something delicious out of basically what you have!