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.