Minestrone Soup.

Minestrone Soup is arguably the oldest type of meal in Europe, pre-dating the Roman Empire. The word derives from the Italian ‘minestra’, meaning a thick soup or stew, and ultimately from the Latin minestrare, meaning to serve something up. There is no single recipe for Minestrone, as in origin it was made up of whatever was sitting around. It is a meal in a pot, and is usually based on onions, tomatoes, pasta and/or beans, bacon and/or ham, and herbs. It is simple, rich and filling.

Ingredients.

¼ cup olive oil.

150g diced bacon.

1 onion, diced.

1 capsicum, diced.

1 stick celery, diced.

Black pepper to taste.

2 tblsp plain flour.

1 440g can whole tomatoes.

4 cups beef stock.

1 cup dried small pasta.

½ cup freshly chopped parsley.

Method.

Place a pot over a hot flame and ad the oil. When hot, add the bacon and stir fry until beginning to render, then add the onion, celery, capsicum and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the onion has softened, then stir the flour through the mixture. Add the tomatoes and stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pasta and the parsley, bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 12-15 minutes then serve with chunks of crusty fresh bread.

Yields: About 1 ½ litres.

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