Cooking | Minestrone Soup

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Hello everyone, I know I have been quite inactive hear…blame it on all the Diwali festivities and then Bangalore weather 😦

We had all the fun during our Diwali celebrations, except that Bangalore weather has been really gloomy! We haven’t seen the Sun for almost a week now; and its raining every now and then!

To get over this weather and mood, I made this colourful and comforting Minestrone soup for dinner. This was the perfect meal for a rainy and cold night.

Minestrone soup is a classic Italian soup made of onions, celery, beans, carrots and pasta. Potatoes and green peas are also added in some versions. There is no set list of ingredients for this soup as the idea is to use the veggies and beans that are available. I have used red kidney beans, black eyed beans, potatoes, onions, coriander, green peas, zuccini, cabbage and tomatoes.

As with veggies, it seems that there is no set rule for using a particular spice. I have seen recipes using rosemary, basil or Italian mixed herbs. However, I have used rosemary and basil to flavor my soup.

I used elbow macaroni as its small in size and cooks faster, but really, you can use any type of pasta…

This recipe makes 4 generous servings.

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Here is the list of ingredients used~

  1. Tomatoes – 2 ripe, blanched, skin and seeds removed and cut into small cubes* or canned*
  2. Onion – 1 big, finely chopped
  3. Red kidney beans (rajma) – 1/4 cup, soaked in enough water for 6-8 hours and pressure-cooked
  4. Black eyed beans (chowli, lobia) – 1/4 cup, soaked in enough water for 6-8 hours and pressure-cooked
  5. Zuccini – 1/2 of medium sized zuccini, cut into small cubes
  6. Potatoes – 1 medium sized, cut into small cubes
  7. Green peas – 1/4 cup, fresh or frozen
  8. Stalk of coriander – finely chopped, as per taste
  9. Dried rosemary, dried basil, red chili flakes – 1 teaspoon each or as per taste
  10. Black pepper – freshly ground, to taste
  11. Salt – to taste
  12. Water/Vegetable stock* – 3 cups
  13. Garlic – 3 to 4 bulbs, finely chopped
  14. Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  15. Cabbage – 1/4 cup, very finely chopped
  16. Elbow macaroni – 1/3 cup
  17. Tomato ketchup – 1 to 2 tablespoons
  18. Cheese – grated, for serving
  19. Coriander, parsley or mint leaves for garnishing (optional)

Here is how to make Minestrone soup

  1. Heat olive oil in a deep pot, and add chopped garlic. Suate till all the raw smell goes away and garlic turns slightly pink.
  2. Add chopped onions, freshly ground black pepper, red chili flakes, coriander stalk, rosemary, basil and little salt. Saute till onions turn translucent. Add tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes – if using canned tomatoes use tomatoes and the liquid; if using blanced tomatoes add the extra water in which tomatoes were blanched.
  3. Now, add potatoes, zuccini, and cabbage. Add pasta (elbow macaroni). Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 and 1/2 cups of water or vegetable stock and bring to boil.
  4. Add cooked beans along with the water they are cooked in. Also add the tomato ketchup and taste the soup. Add more ketchup if required. Remember, this soup is not very tangy so use ketchup accordingly.
  5. Boil the soup for 30 minutes on low to medium heat. Add salt to taste and boil further do your desired consistency. If the soup looks very thick after 30 minutes of boiling add remaining 1/2 cup water or veg stock and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Serve with grated cheese. Preferably parmesan cheese is used, but I used whatever was on hand. Enjoy just as is or with some garlic bread!

To compensate for my absence I will be posting another recipe soon, of something which is liked by kids and adults alike. So, keep watching this space πŸ˜‰

~ Happy cooking,

Prajakta

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