"Oh no, I forgot to take meat out of the freezer" I exclaimed yesterday morning as I walked to work with Mr. Sprinkle to which he dryly answered that a.) things could be worse and b.) we do in fact not need to eat meat every day. Fair enough, I suppose, although I always have a hard time coming up with tasty vegetarian options (as any vegetarian friend who has dined chez moi will know).
My main ideas tend to be salads or pasta with pesto or tomato sauce. But walking home last night I, partly thanks to the cold, had an enlightening moment and a bowl of minestrone appeared before my inner eye. That good old Italian classic. Here is how I made it.
To serve 4 people:
1 large peeled and chopped onion
1 washed and chopped leek
3 washed and chopped celery sticks
4 small washed and peeled potatoes
3 washed and peeled carrots
1 bay leaf
2-3 tablespoonfuls of dried thyme
2 peeled and chopped cloves of garlic
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of flageolet beans
0.5L of chicken stock
150g of small pastas or spaghetti
salt and pepper
1. Heat some oil in a big pot. Add the leeks, celery, onion and garlic. Fry for a few minutes. Then add the rest of the vegetables, the bay leaf and thyme. Fry for another couple of minutes.
2. Add 3 tablespoonfuls of tomato paste and the beans. Mix it all together. Add the canned tomatos and chicken stock. You want everything to be covered so add a bit more water if necessary. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Bring it to a boil again. Add a bit more water if you don't think it is enough to boil the pasta. Then add the pasta/spaghetti and boil it according to the instructions - usually 11 minutes. Add salt and pepper to your liking and enjoy!
I had some leftover bread from the weekend which I sliced thinly before putting on cheddar cheese. I grilled these in the oven till the cheese started melting (about 3-4 minutes) and served them with the soup. Very good combination!