Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heartiest of Appetites-Minestrone

Invasion of the veges!

Minestrone was traditionally known to be a very humble dish -- a dish for the poor in medieval ITALY. It fills the stomach and the ingredients could be anything from fresh legumes of the season to leftovers in your fridge. That's why there's no such a thing as a fixed minestrone recipe. It's simply a rojak of vege, pastas and sometimes meat cooked together in a tomato based liquid. While some likes their minestrone brothy and some prefers a heavier consistency. I like my minestrone somewhere in between the two.

I cut all this, Because my maid was hiding somewhere and i couldn't find her! arghhh~

Meat-based broth such as chicken/beef stock can be used to prepare Minestrone zuppe. But i'm using vege stock (or rather vege stock cubes) for this receipe. And these are not any stock cubes that u can find in any mamashops/supermarkets... It was flown all the way from FRANCE OKAY!(or i assume, since it has french written all over it) hehe:) Lovely Huifang got it for me from Europe! Although she went to Germany first, i theorize it's from France lah huh.. makes no sense to sell something in french in Germany when they don't speak or understands french right...or do they?

Anyways.. it's none of my business..

On the right: vege stock cubes Hf got me. On the left: smart tomato paste packaging from cold storage.

Like I've mentioned earlier, the box has french written all over it. I took it out when i reached home after blowing a goodbye kiss to Huifang. I was studying the box for a whole minute and then.... I looked down on it with an air of smug self-satisfaction. Muhahaha! I understand 90% of those font size 10 words! Muahaha~ a year of french studying followed by 3 years of rusting hasn't left me to be a french illiterate! I'm ecstatic!

It's no way i'm going to let it sit in my cupboard since it made me flushed with excitement! I'm goin cook it! Or snack on it if i could. keke.. Thanks Huifang! You've made Mengni a very happy girl! Btw, I found this box of tomato paste packed in sachets of about 50g/2tbsp each.. so cool lor.. i won't have to worry about wasting ingredients this way.


80g macaroni
1tbsp olive oil
1 leek, cubed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, cubed
2 potatoes, cubed
1 courgette, cubed
2 celery stalks, cubed
100g green beans, cut into short lengths
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 litres vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
shaved Parmesan cheese, to serve


1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add macaroni and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Sink into ice water for a few seconds. Drain again.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, add the leek and garlic and cook over medium heat ofr 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the carrot, potato, courgette, celery, green beans, tomato, stock and tomato paste. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
4.Stir in the cooked pasta and cannellini beans and heat through. Spoon into warmed serving bowls and garnish with parsley and shaved Parmesan.


Eric said...

wah! looks so good... but i have no car yet.. I want to come over now leh... cant wait for father to be back

Anonymous said...

The photos look fake but she is the best cook ever!

Eric said...

but she really puts in lots of effort in the camera angles and lightings. such meticulous presentation.