Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Homemade minestrone.

Tested and proved! Verdict: delicious!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, peeled, sliced
150g streaky bacon, diced
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped.
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 potatoes, peeled, diced
1 litre beef stock
30g tomato purée
400g canned haricot beans, drained
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
handful chopped fresh parsley
400g tomatoes, chopped
100g spaghetti, broken into 2cm/1in pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the croûtons
1 crusty white bread loaf, cut into thick slices
1 tbsp olive oil
200g mozzarella, torn

Haricot beans.
You need to start this recipe by soaking the beans.
You can do this by covering the beans with twice their volume of cold water, then soaking them overnight.
Alternatively, on the same day, boil them for 10 minutes then leave them to soak for a minimum of 2 hours.
Or you can buy canned haricot beans.
Canned beans just need to be drained and rinsed - then they're ready to use.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, bacon, celery, garlic and carrots for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
Stir in the potatoes and fry for a further 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to the boil.
Stir in the tomato purée and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add the haricot beans, herbs, chopped tomatoes and spaghetti and continue to cook until the pasta is tender.
Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the croûtons, drizzle the bread with the olive oil.
Heat a griddle pan until hot and fry the bread on one side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high.
Remove the bread from the pan and top the uncooked side with the mozzarella.
Place under the grill for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden-brown.
To serve, ladle the soup into 4 soup bowls and top with a croûton.

Recipe from "Something for the Weekend recipes" by BBC food.

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