I love a bloggers challenge which fits perfectly into my lifestyle, something that's not so much a challenge as a happy coincident as I'm cooking it anyway, so when I finally decided that April would be the month that I join the brilliant No Croutons Required challenge, hosted by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes, it was with a flash of brilliance that I realised the theme for me was kismet...
... I mean, for a start I should have been doing this challenge a long time ago... firstly it's a very long running challenge, already in it's third year, which is a good enough reason to jump on the bandwagon... secondly I love making soup, always have, it's been a basic staple that my friends know me for... always reliable that Dom should make a big bowl of tasty soup...
... this month, the challenge was based on old NCR themes from our birthday months over the past 3 years. Mine being September I got Mediterranean Soup and, finally getting to my point, as it happens I had bought all the ingredients for a Minestrone... genius!
I've made this a little fresher and more Spring-like by including some lovely freshly frozen peas but really you can put in whatever you like, veg that are in season is good, as long as there's lots of them, minestrone means 'the one with many ingredients' so go crazy!
if you can make this in the morning and then serve it in the evening you'll have more flavour in the soup on that second re-heat.
1 onion - chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped finely with salt and rosemary
2 stalks celery - chopped
2 medium carrots - chopped
1 courgette - chopped
a handful of fine beans - chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
a handful of teeny pasta shells
a handful of frozen peas
half a small savoy cabbage - chopped
2 pints of good vegetable stock
- couldn't be simpler really... in a big heavy pan saute the onions then garlic, celery and carrots until tender, then add the rest of the veg except for the peas and cabbage and sweat with the lid on for 5-8 minutes)
- add the tomatoes, then the stock and finally the pasta, peas and cabbage and let it simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- serve with a strong grated cheese
eat and of course, enjoy!