Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Minestrone Soup

1lb lean ground pork
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion
2 carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, stem peeled and chopped with small florets separated
1 can tomatoes
3 small potatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, split down the middle but otherwise whole
6 cups water
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp tumeric
1 cup dried pasta
salt & pepper
parmesan cheese, fresh grated

Brown pork in olive oil, add vegetables, tomatoes, and water. Save broccoli heads for a bit later as they will go mushy but chop up the core of the stems and put them in. Add dried dill and turmeric. Simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies have only a little bite to them. Add broccoli heads and 1 cup pasta and simmer until pasta is done. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese, eat & enjoy. It should get better overnight.

This was pretty good but not great. Next time I could use chicken stock instead of water, and definitely no potatoes along with the noodles. One or the other. Fresh herbs such as a thyme bouquet would have enhanced the flavour and complexity of the broth. Add parmesan rinds to the broth to give it body and flavour. Brown the pork more, and caramelize the onions. Butter would have tasted better than olive oil but isn't has healthy. The broccoli got a bit mushy despite adding it at the end, so did the pasta (would have happened overnight anyways). Put them in after you turn off the heat instead of simmering through. That might preserve a better texture. I was in a bit of a rush this time, but those steps would have made a great soup. I like my soup really thick, without much broth at all. Stew like. If you want lots of broth, add more water. For a tasty vegetarian dish, omit meat and use vegetable stock.

Other ingredients that would have worked:
Butternut squash, cauliflower, zuccini, beet greens, spinach, roasted red or orange bell pepper, celery, white wine, sausage, rice instead of pasta, beans, pretty much any meat or produce you have in your fridge it seems.

Ladypants has advised that I was too critical, that this soup is delicious, and that I really should have not added the potatoes. Next day magic! Also, this:

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