Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Get Well Soup!

Minestra Primavera con i Risoni
Spring Vegetable Soup with Risoni Noodles

Whenever you are feeling under the weather and you need something to warm and sooth you... when it comes to foods you can consider to be edible medicines... soups are top of the list every time! Faced with an unexpected illness and treatment today, I found myself home and miserable but relieved after 6 hrs of doctors and clinics. Not only was I starving- but I was exhausted and needing some comfort... and that is exactly what this gave me!

Fortunately, here in Germany, you can buy a bundle of the basic, classic soup/stock ingredients in any supermarket or at any market stall. What you always get is a hunk of celeriac, some carrots, leek and plenty of parsley. So I picked one of those bundles up on my way home and added a little celery and tomato into the mix and I had everything I needed for a simple but soothing supper...

I started off by cutting the carrot, celeriac, celery and some onion into a dice and sautéing them in a little olive oil with a little crushed garlic. I added a bay leaf, the stalks of the parsley, very finely chopped and a few celery leaves, also finely chopped. I seasoned with salt, pepper, a little thyme and Once the onion turned translucent, I deglazed the saucepan with boiling water, so as to not interrupt the cooking process and let the vegetables bubble away at a low simmer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes I added the risoni noodles, the sliced leeks and a handful of frozen peas, stirred them through once and let simmer for a further 10 minutes. By that time, the risoni were half done- yes they do take their time! The last thing I added was a couple of diced cherry tomatoes with a tiny pinch of sugar to balance out their flavor, as there often tends to be a hint of bitterness about them. I stirred the soup through thoroughly once more and then turned off the heat and let it sit and finished cooking with its own residual heat for a further 5-10 minutes. This gives the risoni time to become lovely and silky-smooth and unctuous and for the flavors to blend together completely. And all I needed to do then was to serve it up with a few drops of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper and a final scattering of chopped parsley... simple but tasty! Buon apetito and get well soon!

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