P7 pupils make great minestrone soup! How many of you have tried it out at home? Ms Christie used this recipe for the workshop she led:
- 2 rashers of bacon
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 red onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 courgette
- 1 small leek
- 1 large potato
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
- a large handful curly kale
- olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 x 400g tins good-quality chopped tomatoes
- 1 litre vegetable stock, preferably organic
- 2 handfuls of mixed small pasta shapes
- A bunch of fresh basil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parmesan cheese, to serve
- Large pan with lid
- Large knife
- Small knife
- Chopping board
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring jug
- Large spoon
- Finely slice the bacon. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Trim and chop the carrots, celery and courgette. Cut the ends off the leeks, quarter them lengthways, wash them under running water and cut them into 1cm slices.
- Scrub and dice up the potato. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Remove the woody stalks from the kale and roughly chop the leaves.
- Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil. Throw in the bacon and fry it gently until it starts to turn brown and smell fantastic. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, courgette, leek, oregano and bay leaf and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.
- Add the tomatoes, potato, chickpeas and vegetable stock, then cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, then check (with the tip of a knife) that the potato is soft and cooked through.
- After that, add the kale and pasta, and cook for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked. If the soup is too thick for you after cooking the pasta, thin it with a little more stock or water.
- The basil is optional but I think it is a nice little addition. If you decide to use it, stir some chopped leaves into the soup. Finish by seasoning with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and pass the Parmesan around the table for people to grate over their soup.