Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Hello Everyone! Winter Warmer Month is coming to an end this week *sad face* but surely we won’t be saying goodbye to soups forever. I’ll keep today’s post short only because I am actually just writing this now (maybe 30 minutes before this goes up) and I didn’t prepare it in advance or during the day. I’m keeping it short because I’m really tired, but I didn’t want to skip out on posting.

Basically I woke up at 6:30am today, yes that’s actually quite early for me especially since I didn’t sleep well last night, don’t know why. I got up earlier than usual to get ready and head over about an hour out West on the train, to Brendon’s (brendonthesmilingchef) place for a cooking collaboration that had been planning for just about over a month now. We spent the whole morning until late afternoon shopping, cooking, styling, eating, and talking – and overall it was a successful day. I won’t say what we made today because that will be coming up for the month of August!

Minestrone Soup

Okay (again I always do this), I said I’d keep it short but I’m already 200 words in and I haven’t actually talked about today’s recipe – Minestrone Soup. is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. There is no set recipe for minestrone, since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season. It can be vegetarian, contain meat, or contain a meat-based broth. I’ve made this soup a couple of times in the past and I used risoni pasta and added bacon chunks to it before. Today, I’m keeping it quite traditional, and used left over angel hair pasta hair that I cut into about 2cm long pieces.

Minestrone Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 65 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 375g McKenzie’s Italian Style Soup Mix, washed and drained
  • 150g maple-glazed bacon, cut into bits
  • 1 can (400g) canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup angel hair pasta, cut into 2cm long strands
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Shaved parmesan cheese
  • Bread of choice

METHOD

  1. Preparing the Beans:
    • Quick method: Put required quantity into a saucepan and cover with water – approximately 3 cups of water for every cup of soup mix. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked, skimming if necessary.
    • Traditional method: Soak soup mix for approximately 6-8 hours (overnight if convenient) before cooking.
  2. Minestrone Soup: Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Fry the bacon bits until browned, then sauté the garlic together with the bacon until fragrant and golden brown. The add in the onions and cooking until soft.
  3. Add in the carrots, celery, and potatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good mix and leave to cooking for about 5 minutes before adding the canned diced tomatoes in. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the prepared beans and further simmer for about 10-15 minutes, in the last 4 minutes, add in the angel hair pasta.
  5. Turn the heat off, and divide equally into serving bowls (4 large bowls, or 5-6 small bowls) and top with some shaved parmesan cheese. Serve immediately with some stone-baked Pane di Casa bread.

Minestrone Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Celery & Green Apple Slaw

Celery & Green Apple Slaw

Hello Everyone! The story behind me attempting this recipe is that I always seem to struggle with celery. There are times where I’d buy a whole bunch for a dollar (on special) when the halves weren’t available or if they didn’t have the bags of pre-cut celery sticks. The thing with me and celery is that I only use it when I’m making a bolognese or minestrone soup. I rarely use it for any of my dishes. So half the time it sits in the fridge waiting to be use, and then eventually thrown out because it’s been sitting there for weeks, possibly months. I know, most of you are probably thinking that I could’ve just eat them like that with some sort of dip, but in all honesty, raw celery isn’t quite my thing. Again, another rabbit food moment here.

Celery & Green Apple Slaw

So, I bought a bag of celery sticks last week for a dish that will be posted next week, and before going out to do my weekly groceries, I jumped online and search for a recipe that I could make that included celery – yes, I was determined to not waste my bag of celery! I came across this recipe from Taste and I thought that I’d give this one a go. I know, when I thought about it and how I mentioned that “raw celery isn’t quite my thing”, and here I am attempting a raw celery slaw. Well, I thought it was about time that I gave raw celery a chance and it did not disappoint. Well to be honest I could’t distinctly pick out its taste, maybe because from the crème fraîche dressing, but the crispiness and freshness from both the celery and apple paired with the creamy sweet yet tangy dressing really made the dish exciting to my palette. Why did I not think of this sooner! All those celery sticks that went to waste…

Celery & Green Apple Slaw Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME | SERVES 2-3

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 celery sticks, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large green apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 100g Danish feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche, lemon juice, sugar and chives in a small bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  2. Plate up the celery and apple matchsticks in a deep dish. Pour the crème fraîche mixture over the celery and apples, and top with crumbled danish feta and walnuts. Serve!

Celery & Green Apple Slaw

If you want to add some protein or omega-3 to this fresh, light slaw, you can have some chicken on the side, or as what I’ve done is grill some salmon to go with this dish. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, pop in the grill oven for about 5 to 7 minutes (for a thin portion as what I had), and serve!

Celery & Green Apple Slaw with Salmon

Celery & Green Apple Slaw with Salmon

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com