Saturday, 8 April 2006

More than knitting - there's Minestrone too

I've decided, after just two posts, that if I only ever post about knitting, I might not post very often. I tend to work mostly on very big projects, jumpers, cardigans etc and there really won't be too much to say when all I've got to show is another twentry rows.

And anyway, there's more to me than what I'm knitting. As much as I love, there is a world outside knitting and I want to document that here, too.

So, tonight I want to talk about Minestrone. The picture above is the Minestrone I made tonight. The colours are a bit off, but let me explain.

I love soup. Autumn weather says soup to me. Each year, I wait for the weather to turn just enough so that I can start planning what soups to make.

I welcome soup season in the same way every year. With Minestrone. It's been my soup staple for about six years now but last week, something went horribly wrong. It failed. I know what I did wrong. Too much pasta (half a bag of small soup pasta shapes - what was I thinking?) and turnip! A book I love suggested it but it was awful. This wasn't Minestrone. It was a mishmash of horribly gone wrong ideas. Sean was polite about it, but I knew it wasn't right.

So, tonight, with plans of being traditional, I turned to a recipe I've ignored for five years. Nigella Lawson's Minestrone, which I first read years ago and thought, no that's wrong! She says NOT TO ADD TOMATO! Why not? What do you have if your Minestrone isn't rich, tomato red? You have what she describes as a khaki sludge. How unappealing!

But I thought well, sometimes you need to trust someone else. Right through the cooking process my mind was screaming, 'add tomato!!!!!' but I didn't and wow, it was fantastic. Yes, it was a khaki sludge but what an amazing bowl of sludge! Add some parmesan, some gorgeous yellow extra virgin olive oil, a few basil leaves decoratively placed, a glass of red and I am one happy girl. My faith in Minestrone is restored. Thank you Nigella!

Sean rolled his eyes and asked was every meal I cooked going to be photographed and blogged from now on. Then he ate the Minestrone very, very happily.