Thursday, March 03, 2011

What's on the table?

I own an enormous stainless steel stock pot.  Filled with soup, it makes enough for us and several others to eat that soup for three days.  In the past, I've frozen the extra portions, but I find that nowadays we're eating it the next day, and then the day after that.  We just don't mind eating the same meal again on consecutive days.  

This past weekend, it was filled with minestrone soup.  I remember concocting this tomato-based, Italian-flavoured soup for the first time, twelve years ago, in my parents' kitchen.  I've changed it a little over the years, but usually make it about the same every time.  I'll not give amounts with this; it's not that sort of recipe.  It's just too easy; you can't mess it up.

Saute chopped onions and crushed garlic in olive oil with chopped green and/or red peppers.  Optionally, add a few sliced leeks and celery sticks.  Add dried herbs: bay leaves, oregano, thyme, and basil.  Add chopped vegetables: carrots, courgettes [zucchini], and anything else you think might complement the other flavours.  [Aubergine, fennel, celeriac, etc.]  Stir a few pints of vegetable broth into the veggies and pour in at least a pint of tomato passata [pureed tomatoes].  When the soup is bubbling, add extra water, one or two tins of butterbeans, and [optionally] a few handfuls of dried pasta.  Usually I throw in some broken wholemeal spelt spaghetti.  Simmer the soup for at least another half an hour.  The flavour intensifies as time passes so it tastes best made at least a few hours before serving.  Grate fresh parmesan to sprinkle on top, and eat with a portion of steamed quinoa, or bread, or a salad.

Other food on our table this week included staples vegetable chilli [served with quinoa], and one of my favourites: chickpea vegetable curry, eaten with rice.

My favourite meal has been a hastily prepared late breakfast of chopped apple covered in plain natural yoghurt, with a handful of walnuts and pecans.  Sounds too simple but it's so good.  I munched this while balancing a fretful, teething Coo on one knee and listening to The Boys' narrative versions of what we'd just read about in history: the rather bland story of Ivan the Great adding to early Russia through the defeat of the Mongol and Slav tribes.  Fortunately I finished my food before we moved on to reading an account of the totally gruesome reign of Ivan the Terrible.

What was on your table this week?  
Leave me a comment with a description of a recent favourite meal - 
either one you cooked, ate out, or one that was cooked for you! 


  1. Well, there was 3 bean chili that had a tomato base, all organic of course. It was served on top of blue organic tortilla chips with flax seeds. The chili then passed through the garden of sour cream, fresh cabbage strips, and sharp cheese shavings along with the option of hot salsa for the more adventurous eater. Oh, the beans were garbanzo, black, and kidney. Ask your mom for the real story.

  2. Sounds delicious!!!

  3. I have been lazy this week with cooking, it has all been quick stuff although I attempted your red cabbage coleslaw (is there red onion in it? because I added that and heard about it from Matt, Ha) but my fav this week would have to the hot dark chocolate fondants (like a soufle) I fixed on Thursday night for Josie and Quinton. They are Matt's favourite too...very yummy and super easy.

  4. Abby... yes, there's red onion. Recipe here:

    Fondants... mmmn! Are they similar to the ones I made ages ago when pregnant with Eve? I was really craving dark chocolate then... :)


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