Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Minestrone all Romagnola

I'm now convinced that the key to these long lived peoples of the world is making vegetables taste so so good.

I already cook a minestrone just from vegetables from a recipe from Marcella's son, so I wasn't too enthused to make this one. His is good! Further, Marcella's required the lion's share of my precious meat broth, which cost me many hours and a few dollars earlier in the week.

But I persisted, and started off, although not well. In the Marcella fashion she said the fat should be put in cold with the onion. Not french (or thai) at all and a knob of butter floating around onion looks really weird. Things deteriorated from there when I tried to put in the potatoes - I'd eaten them with the Veal Scaloppine and lemon earlier in the week.

Ah, at least I had the beans I thought, as I greedily grabbed the bag I had bought from the markets on Saturday. None of that supermarket crap for me.

Unfortunately they were full of spiders, or some other web creating, bean enjoying creature.

So they were no good. I checked my emergency vegetable stash. It consisted of an eggplant, which I didn't think would suit, and a few carrots that, to be frank, looked more like doorstops than the fresh ingredients Italian cuisine is so famous for.

But something had to go in. Along with extra cabbage. So the carrots were cut into chunks.

The broth was pretty well last. It was in ice cube form by this stage as instructed. I had melted them on the stove while cutting the veges.

I was still skeptical, but things were just getting started. Minestrone does, after all, take a long time although it is largely unattended.

Two hours or so later and I was a believer. In the meat broth. That stuff is great. Forget vegetable goodness, Brodo really adds a depth of flavour that you just can't get from water. I was excited about the soup, and only had to wait another hour or so to eat it.

The parmesan was the last to be added. Marcella theorises in a subsequent book that it has a special favour yet to be discovered that excites the eater in whatever food it is added to.

Anyway, after 1 day making meat broth and 1 day making soup two steaming bowls were finally put on the table. The aircon was turned down to simulate winter, and we were away.

Extremely pleased with the result. The broth was exceptional. A certain someone stole a cup of it after just to sip as an after dinner drink. The veges were delicious. Why wouldn't you eat them?

Can't wait to make it again with the potatoes and the beans.


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment so that I could find yours again! You are really coming along with this Italian cooking, I am going to go back through your posts for the past little while and see what I have been missing. I have been doing some for the Cooking Italy group, but had my name taken off the blogroll as I was not doing it every single week due to busy-ness of scheduling around here with two teen boys on the go, etc. I have loved every single recipe I have made from this book, however, some posted, some not posted. Have made the minestrone a couple of times now as we all love soup and we all love vegetables and right now it is winter here in the states and a good bowl of soup is always welcome fodder. Very envious of your summer right now! Back to reading your blog....

  2. Hi Kayte

    I got the boot from Cooking Italy as well because I didn't cook anything. I'm fine with that as I like to pick when and what I cook depending on how I feel. Also there was too much nattering on the chat group....

    I do pop into Spinach Tiger every now and then to see what they have been up to as the photos are so beautiful.