Soup of the Week: Root Veg Minestrone

Please pardon the delayed soup of the week post. Truth is, Rob and I have been going through the grueling and disheartening process of trying to find a new place to live. April 1st is a crap move date in this town. Properties were getting snatched up before we could even get in to see them, so I’ve been feeling very distracted and rather crestfallen of late, but WE DID FIND A PLACE.

It’s super-cute and I’m actually excited about it, especially as it seemed only a few of our rather sparse “want badly” boxes were going to be ticked, but this place actually ticked them all! I’ll get into more of that later. Let’s talk soup!

I know folks will argue that the recipe below is absolutely NOT for minestrone because it contains neither beans nor tomatoes. Those folks might be right. The history of the dish is a bit muddy (you can read more here, if you like), I choose to reject such a narrow definition. To my mind, minestrone requirements are:

  • Oodles of seasonal veg
  • A good broth
  • Parsley

I mean, beans and tomatoes could be among those things, but why limit ourselves? Even the seasonal veg thing gets a bit blurry given that, in my part of Ontario anyway, we have access to fresh fruits and veg year ’round. But there’s something nice about keeping it seasonal as it makes the same basic recipe new every time. Right now, root veg is what is truly in season and what I’m craving, so that’s what you get.

What you need:

  • 1 large, yellow cooking onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds, lightly ground
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup creminis, sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, thickly sliced
  • 3 cups good broth (I used the first homemade one I found in the freezer – it was a chicken base and delicious)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 large carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 large parsnip, thickly sliced
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice or pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Asiago or Parmesan cheese to garnish

What you do:

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sautée the onion in the oil with the caraway and a little salt.
  2. Once the onion is translucent, add the mushrooms and garlic.
  3. Once the mushrooms have just browned, add the celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes.
  4. Add the stock, carrot, parsnip, broth and water and simmer for 20 minutes, adding water as necessary to keep the veg covered, until the veg is tender.
  5. Add the parsley, taste test and season accordingly.
  6. Put a good handful of rice or pasta the bottom of each eater’s bowl and top with piping hot soup and a sprinkling of cheese.

 

 

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