Monday, 13 October 2014

Simple Comfort

Minestra di Anellini, Cicoria & Pomodori
Chicory & Tomato Soup with Anellini Noodles

"I was cold and I needed to eat!" Yes indeed, I needed food and comfort and this was what I made to give me both- perfect after getting home soaking wet from the rain and miserable from a hard day!

Once I got this little baby going and bubbling away for 15 minutes, it took just 15 minutes more for the noodles to cook and for it to be perfect and yummy and ready to eat... time for a hot shower and a breather, to get comfortable and ready to relax, to eat... and to enjoy!


This is a really simple, farmhouse-styled soup, the kind that people eat every day for their humble lunches back home in The Old Country- and just as enjoyable on a cold Autumn evening in ANY old country!


One little head of chicory- not more than 2 good handfuls when chopped, 10-11 cherry tomatoes, 1 Spring onion, 1 stalk of celery, 1 carrot, 1 bay leaf and 1 1/2 handfuls of anellini noodles... and there you have the ingredients for 1 nice, big bowl of vegetable soup!

Yes, it's very simple, but it is the kind of food I grew up with and the kind I will always love... we can keep those fancy meals in mind for special occasions, no? But come to think of it... any time I have a nice bowl of comfort food like this IS a special occasion, isn't it?


This is one of the dishes that you are going to need to chop up your veggies nice and small... go on- you can do it! The smaller they are- the quicker they'll cook! There! I knew that little detail would do it!


Begin by frying your "sofritto" of carrot, celery and onion in a little olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. You can also add a little finely chopped garlic if you prefer.


Next, add the cherry tomatoes and a pinch of sugar and keep stirring...


...and once they have sweated down nicely, add just enough boiling water to cover the vegetables and keep stirring until it is all absorbed and boiled away. Next, add plenty of boiling water, ready to add the greens and the noodles...


Put the chicory in first and add a little more salt accordingly.


5 minutes later, add the noodles, a little more water, until everything floats freely, stir them in well, bring it up to the boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer to bubble away for the next 15 minutes.


And 15 minutes later- you soup is lovely and rich and ready to go!

I told you it was easy, and I am telling you it's really yummy! With a light bitterness from the chicory, a sweet tanginess from the tomatoes and enough flavor from the sofritto, all you need is a drizzle of olive oil and plenty of freshly ground pepper- and you are ready to enjoy!


 A taste of the country!

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