February 18, 2012

Minestrone Soup

Mention soup and Minestrone soup is what comes to my mind.  There cannot be anybody who does not know or like this soup.  I can confidently say that this tops the list of my kids favorite soups and also pull  up my collar for they like the homemade version better than the ones at restaurant.

1 small carrot
1 small potato
1 handful frozen peas
2 trimmed celery sticks
1/2 of a medium onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 a can of chick peas
3 small tomatoes
3/4 cup of uncooked pasta any kind
1/2 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp each of coriander and cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste
some butter and 1 tbsp olive oil

Heat up the butter and olive oil.  When it is slightly hot add the onions and garlic and saute for half a minute.
Add the bay leaf and all the chopped vegetable.  Add little salt and saute these vegetables for a minute.  Add about 4 cups of water or the amount needed to get the vegetables completely covered.  Add a pinch of turmeric, paprika powder and the cumin coriander powder and let these vegetables cook until they are a bit tender.  I had this quick variety of penne pasta(cook time is only 3 minutes) which I could directly cook along with the vegetable.  If using any other pasta which takes a longer time to cook, prepare it separately and add it to the soup. When the pasta is cooked well, add the chick peas to it.

In the meanwhile, blanch the tomatoes in boilling water for few minutes.  Once this cools, blend the tomatoes into a paste and extract all the smooth pulp.  Use water if necessary to get all the pulp out.  Normally, diced tomatoes are sauteed and cooked.  But since I like to have a tomato based stock, I prefer to do it this way.  Add this to the soup and the necessary salt and pepper and the Italian seasoning.  Let this cook for few more minutes.

Enjoy this wholesome soup with some nice toasted french bread or some bread sticks.

Tips:  It would be good to use either home made or store bought vegetable stock instead of water to begin with.
The pasta is going to soak up in the soup and make it thicker.  It is okay if the soup is a bit runny as soon as it is completed.  On the other hand, if you know you are going to consume everything right away and you prefer it thicker, add the water accordingly.

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