Monday, 16 December 2013

Recipe - Minestrone

Some days, the Explorer doesn't feel like visiting Pilates as he's hungover and it's reasonable as it was his birthday meal the night before. On those days, the Explorer disassembles the vacuum cleaner that my parents kindly brought down as penance. Meanwhile, I set to making minestrone from the cookbook that Contrary bought me for my last birthday. (It's called Gather but I always think it's called Forage. Close enough.) Two days in advance so that it will have time to meld together and develop. (Or possibly because the Explorer's parents are coming round for dinner the next day and it's the only time I have to make lunches for the first half of the week.) But then some days, you get on a DLR train and then, in your fury at what a previous landlord is choosing to withhold from a deposit, you forget to ask your lunch to alight with you. It lives on the train now.

200g smoked bacon, chopped into lardons
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

In a casserole, over a medium heat, place the bacon.
Let the fat render and fry the bacon in this.
Add the onions, carrots and garlic. Let the vegetables fry in the bacon fat (and add a touch of olive oil if necessary) for around 20 minutes until golden.

400g green beans
1 can plum tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 chicken stock cube

Add the green beans, tomatoes, puree and stock. Fill the empty tomato can with water and add to the pot.
Simmer, half covered, on a low heat for about an hour and a half.

2 heads cavalo nero
1 can cannelini beans, drained

Add the greens and beans. Cook for a further 30 minutes.
Season to taste at the end with salt and pepper. 

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