A Winter Minestrone
It is almost certain that at some point in the next month I will eat Quality Street for breakfast. A combination of treats in the house that wouldn’t normally be there and the inevitable merging of breakfast into lunch into dinner that tends to happen at this time of the year. So yesterday I made a winter minestrone packed full of vegetables in a pre splurge nod to healthiness. Alas none of those included here came from our plot but we did grow the cannellini beans. Dried beans do require some forethought but I urge you to use them, having a firmer texture and better flavour than canned, they are worth a bit of extra effort.
200gms dried cannellini beans, borlotti beans or chickpeas could also be used.
1 litre vegetable stock, ham or chicken also work well.
30 ml olive oil
3 large shallots sliced
1 leek sliced
2 carrots peeled and sliced
3 ribs of celery sliced
150 gms kale shredded
100 ml tomato pasata
salt and pepper
The day before making soak the beans in water.
On the day, put the beans in a pan of cold water bring to the boil and cook until just soft. Mine took an hour and a quarter but they were enormous .
In a separate pan sweat the shallots and leeks in the olive oil until soft and transparent.
Add the carrots and celery and cook gently for another five minutes.
Add the stock, tomato passata and beans. Continue cooking until the the carrots and celery are to your liking.
Add the kale, it will only take a couple of minutes for this to cook
Season to taste.
This amount will serve four generously as a main course. It’s great with olive oil drizzled on top and some freshly grated parmesan cheese.