Friday, 12 September 2014

Easy Does It!

Semplice Minestra Vegetale
Simple Vegetable Soup


It was cold in Frankfurt today. And wet. Not for the first time- and definitely not for the last... and it was obviously depressing indeed, as it should still be sunny and warm! Aaargh!

So, what is one to do on an evening when the day has been so? Well- if you have a family or a partner, or friends nearby, you con moan and complain about it along with them to give yourselves a little comfort. And if you don't? Well then you better make yourself some comforting food to make things feel better!


I love soups- they always make me feel happy and are a treat any time of the year. But obviously, for us Western folks, Winter IS the season! At least it is the time of year that I can indulge and not get my eyes rolled at! I can eat soup right in the middle of Summer- a hot bowl of Vietnamese Pho or some steaming, spicy ramen... what's not to love about those? But I digress... most people tend to only want this kind of traditional and down-to-earth soup when it gets cold. And oh boy has it gotten cold over here in Frankfurt!

To make my nice, big bowl of soup this evening, I used a half stalk of celery and a few leaves, a small carrot, about a 4" piece of leek, 3 little potatoes, 9-10 cherry tomatoes, a cupful of frozen peas, a good handful of vermicelli soup noodles and a little parsley and Parmesan.


Opening a can is easier for sure- and this did take 30-40 minutes to make... but that is still pretty speedy compared to most soups! And the main thing is- this is all natural, you know just what has gone into it and you TASTE what you have put into it! Pure, simple and really good!


Yes, you will need to do some chopping! Fine chopping! But... come on- chopping is fun! At least it is for me! And once you have chopped your veggies up nice and small you can have a rest and leave those couple of celery leaves as big as they are- haha!


Start off by frying the leek, carrot and celery together until the leek becomes transparent- this will be your flavor base for the soup. Throw in those 2 big celery leaves too as they are packed with flavor as well... and you will easily be able to fish them out later on.


Next, add the potatoes and fry those along with the other ingredients for 3-4 minutes until they begin to turn transparent and also to brown a little... then add the peas. Stir in the peas and as they thaw and add moisture to the pan, you can add the tomatoes, plenty of finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper and continue frying the ingredients together for a further 4-5 minutes. This will make sure that all of the flavors intensify nicely.

Cover with plenty of boiling water, reduce the heat till you have a rolling simmer and let the soup bubble away for 15 minutes.


After 15 minutes, add the noodles and stir until they are well blended, adjust the temperature until the soup comes back up to the boil and allow to simmer away for a further 10 minutes or so until everything is lovely and tender.


The starch in the potatoes and noodles will thicken the broth just enough and the flavors of all of those individual ingredients will be plenty to make this into a delicious, light and natural soup! Now- fish out those celery leaves and get ready to serve it up!


I added a sprinkle of Parmesan, plenty of pepper and a drizzle of raw olive oil... and I can tell you- that was a mighty fine soup, with all of those simple goodies in it!


Wouldn't you just love to taste a spoonful of that? Yeah... me too! I guess we will have to make this all over again! And then we can!

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