Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Rough & Ready

Zuppa Rustica di Verdure
Rustic Vegetable Soup


Monday evening, miserable, cold and depressing Monday evening... Groan! There's only one thing for it... A nice, hot, tasty bowl of freshly prepared soup!

Soups can take ages to prepare, but if you use your smarts, you can cut some corners, save some time and STILL get some great results... Trust me! This is what I do every evening after work and I know a trick or two by now... And I am more than happy to share them!

It's nothing exciting, but it is definitely comforting in the old-fashioned way. Had I added some pasta, I could have called this a minestrone, but as it was, this was a purely vegetable based soup, made of simple ingredients, cooked in a simple manner... And tasted simply wonderful too!


I concocted my creation from the rather limited bounty of my little refrigerator... And my ingredients to make 2 nice bowls of soup were: 1 kohlrabi, 1 parsnip, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 5-6 runner beans, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, a little fresh basil and parsley, some dried marjoram, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Oh, and around 45 minutes cooking time in all.


The result was rich, chunky, tasty and filling, though not heavy with pasta or rice, just simply from ththe vegetables themselves and the few added aromatic herbs... And if that isn't enough for ya... Then I don't know what is!!!


Start off by dicing up your vegetables and by starting thto m sizzling in a little olive oil. What you can see here is the carrot, onion, celery, and half of the kohlrabi. Stir-fry them together until the onion becomes translucent and slightly begins to brown.


Next, add the parsnip and the remaining kohlrabi, finely grated. These will practically disintegrate during the course of the soup cooking and add loads of great flavor as well as nicely thickening it up... Groovy!


Stir everything through, allow to cook for a few minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Next, top-up generously with boiling water and add the tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning with a little more salt as necessary and reduce to a gentle simmer.

And you may as well kick off your shoes, put up your feet and enjoy a drink for the next 30 minutes or so!

After half an hour or so, add a little handful of coarsely chopped basil and a good pinch of dried marjoram. Bring back to a gentle simmer, replace the lid and allow to cook for a final 10 minutes or so before serving.

Add a good drizzle of olive oil, some more freshly ground pepper and a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley... And enjoy!

There's not much more to be said... The only thing left to do is get into the kitchen and make it for yourself!

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