Storm Babet Minestrone
I want you to cast your mind back to last Friday when Storm Babet was raging through the country. Out here on the East Coast we were hit with a torrent of wind and rain. The kind of weather where you can’t actually leave the house even if you wanted to.
So it was all about what was in the fridge and using up these ingredients to make soup.
Minestrone is my all time favourite soup. You can pretty much add anything you want as long as it has some kind of cabbage, some kind of bean and some kind of carb. Here’s I’m using orzo pasta and savoy cabbage. Served with some griddled garlic bread and it’s the most glorious hug in a bowl.
my top 3 tips to making the best Minestrone:
- low and slow – there really is no reason to rush this one and the lower and slower you can cook it the better it will taste. This includes making it the day before you’re going to eat it. Those flavours will only enhance with an overnight cool down and reheat.
- add some wine to your stock – there’s something about that little glass of white wine that takes this from soup to super!
- cheese – I always grate a mix of very strong cheddar and parmesan in to the final soup, it gives it an unexpected creaminess and also adds a subtle twang which works wonders with all the vegetables.
- a little olive oil and butter
- 3 or 4 banana shallots – chopped
- 2-3 sticks of celery – chopped
- 5 Chanternay carrots – chopped
- 1/2 fennel bulb – chopped
- 2 garlic cloves – grated
- fresh herbs – I used oregano, rosemary and thyme
- 150g Queen Carlin Peas from the Bold Bean Company
- 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2/3rd litre vegetable stock mixed with 1/3rd white wine
- 1/4 head of large savoy cabbage – chopped
- a handful green beans – chopped
- 100g orzo pasta
- 100g strong cheddar cheese – finely grated
- plenty of fresh ground black pepper
In a large soup pan or shallow casserole dish, heat a little butter with some olive oil and once warm throw in the onions, celery, fennel and carrots, stir well, turn up the temperature to just above medium and let the vegetables cook for at least 8 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the grated garlic and the fresh herbs halfway through this cooking time and stir well in.
after 8 or so minutes the vegetables will have begun to soften and slightly colour, add the tomatoes and peas and stir well in and let them shimmy in the heat for another 5 mins
add the tin of chopped tomatoes followed by the stock and carlin peas and stir together. Add the cabbage and green beans then place the lid on, turn down the heat to it’s very lowest and let the whole thing gently bubble away for at least 45 mins, adding the orzo after 20 mins.
Take it off the heat and add the cheese and stir well in… wait for 5 mins before serving now if you must.
at this stagette Orzo Minestrone essentially ready to serve but I promise you it simply won’t taste as good as it could do should you allow it to cool entirely and reheat later. The ultimate would be the next day but if you make it in the morning and serve it in the evening then it will be pretty damn phenomenal!
For more minestrone ideas, check these out on Dom in the Kitchen.
Eat and of course, enjoy!