Monday, June 16, 2014

A recipe for a super summery soup

The first time I made soup at home after closing the café, I made enough to feed 20 people. It wasn't until I was halfway through chopping the vegetables that I realised I was still in mass catering mode and had made far too much for my two-person household.

But what first appeared to be a mistake turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I froze the leftover soup in two-serving batches and for the next few weeks, I always had a ready answer to sudden pangs of hunger.

Now I always over cater when it comes to soup.  I may not make enough for 20 people but I always make enough for at least ten. It doesn't really involve that much more effort and knowing that you've got something delicious, homemade and easy in the freezer more than makes up for any extra chopping involved in the preparation process.

Here's what you'll need to make ten servings of a tomato-based minestrone soup 

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 large carrots, diced
6 celery stalks, diced
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 litres vegetable stock
2 courgettes, chopped
200g frozen peas
1 tin (400g) cooked cannellini beans 
50g dried macaroni or other smaller-shaped pasta
Salt and pepper (how much you will need depends on the seasoning of your stock but provided the stock is not too salty, you'll need at least one teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper)
  • Heat the oil over a low heat and add the garlic, onions, carrots and celery.
  • Cook gently for ten minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for an hour.
  • Add the chopped courgettes, peas, beans and pasta and cook for another ten minutes or until the pasta is cooked through.
  • Season with the salt and pepper.

This soup makes a warm, filling and yet not too heavy way to end a sunny summer's day - which is exactly what we've got in Dingle today (and we're all crossing our fingers that the good weather is here to stay).

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are and that you are eating the most delicious of summery food.

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