06 July 2007

Minestrone Soup

One night last week I was hungry and bored (whoooo meeee?) so I decided to cook.
See the thing is, I cook for a living--and I complain that the worst part of the job is the grocery shopping, so I will go to great lengths to keep from shopping on a day off.
It happens that I am housesitting for a client of mine who has the most fabulous vegetable garden (equipped with an English gardener!) and also a new Mario Batali pot that needed to be broken in.
So I went rummaging and this is what I came up with:

Mediterannean (the other coast) Minestrone Soup

1 pkg of Minestrone Bean Mix
Green lentils, any mixture of canned beans (white, red, black eyed, split, etc.) rinsed and Farro
2 boxes of chix stock (if using dry, less if using canned)
Tomato Paste
pancetta, diced finely (optional)
1 spring onion, diced finely
Herbes De Provence (thyme, rosemary, bay, lavender, fennel, marjoram)
swiss chard, chopped into 1" squares
Verjus (optional)
2 preserved lemons (I use Robert Lambert--I writhe with pain if I can't)
S & P tt (to taste)
saute the onion and pancetta in soup pan (I usually use Le Cruset)
add tomato paste and herbes de provence and mix well
pour in chicken stock and minestrone mixture
cook until done
in seperate pan saute garlic and swiss chard in olive oil
deglaze with verjus and cook for another minute
season to taste
cover pan and turn off heat
chop the preserved lemon into fine dice
place the swiss chard into a bowl and cover with minestrone soup
garnish with the preserved lemon and serve




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