brother david and lucie arrived back in cape town on saturday morning. first time we had seen them since the engagement so we needed a small celebration (any excuse for a celebration and, quite amazingly, dalene had a couple of bottles of bubbles left over from friday's party). it was cold, wet and raining and a perfect day for a fire, rugby and soup.
so i hurried off to the shops to buy some soup ingredients. a big favourite of mine at the moment is minestrone. the recipe i have now developed is as follows:-
this needs a big pot - feeds at least 12
2 packets woolies minestrone mix
olive oil (quite a bit)
2 extra onions
allow the above ingredients to fry a bit and slightly sweat in the olive oil for about 15 minutes
then add about 1 and half litres vegetable stock (if you have any veggies in the family) or chicken stock
3 cans of italian tomatoes - those cheap tins of cherry tomatoes are good, plus juice
1 sachet tomato puree (i like it to look red and hearty)
1 bag of julienne carrots (not essential but i had them in the fridge)
some extra celery (if you have, also not essential)
2 tablespoons of sugar (my mother always told me to add a tablespoon or two of sugar to your food whenever you cook with tomatoes - especially tomato bredie)
1 and a half cups of brown lentils (extra protein always good for the veggies in the family)
allow to simmer away - i actually like it when it does not look too beany (if you know what i mean) so it can simmer and reduce for quite a while (an hour and a half or so).
then about half an hour before serving i add pasta (one bag) - penna or macaroni (any kind will do). let it cook through - you may need some extra liquid at this stage.
grate cheese on top (a good strong italian cheese is best but i only had tussers) and serve with warm crusty breads.
boys like to add lots of chilli or tabasco to it.
i looked at some minestrone recipes on the internet and see that i am not far off even although i do not follow the instructions on the woolies bag. minestrone means "big soup" to italians with lots of goodies in it, especially beans, vegetables and tomatoes. the word however originated from "minestra" which means to dish up or serve.
my brother did ask me if he could have a knife and fork for the soup, so add more liquid if you want it to be more soupish.
this is not my soup - sorry - i really have to start taking more photographs.