A STAR!!……… MINESTRONE

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I know this might not be a very “refreshing” dish but the weather outside is still a bit uncertain and a warm soup full of stars might brighten up our dinner time. This is what in Italian we call : Minestrone, a classic dish that most of Italian children would eat only because they have to! It’s the dish that every Nonna cooks, it’s a must in school dinner menus and it’s the Godfather of the left overs. You’ll be eating it for days and days!

Based on this introduction I will #Bring Nonna Back!!! Bring wholesome, fresh and healthy food back on the table!!! Hey! It worked with me in the 80’s!! I am now going to celebrate this dish and introduce it to modern families of 2015. Add your children’s favourite pasta shape (Lettere-letters, Conchiglie-shells, Farfalline-butterflies ….), they’ll enjoy it even more 🙂

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

1 stick of celery

2 carrots

half of one onion

1 large potato

2 sweet potatoes

150g lentils

1 tin of plum tomatoes

small handful of fresh basil

1lt chicken or vegetable stock ( gelatine stock cubes are great as well, 1 cube per litre)

150g of pasta for soup ( stars, mini farfalle, conchigliette…. you can find them in any local supermarket)

pinch of salt

tbs of olive oil

Preparation

Boil the kettle and pour the hot water in jug with a gelatine cube. Stir it until the cube dissolves and put it aside. Dice the onion, carrots, celery, potato and sweet potatoes. Into a large pot heat the olive oil and add the vegetables. Simmer for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Add the salt. Pour the stock in the pot. Put the lid on and cook on a low heat. Place the plum tomatoes in a blender with the basil and blend until smooth. Pour the tomatoes into the pot and stir. Wash the lentils under the tap and add them into the soup. Stir and put the lid back on. Add the pasta as well and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft. Your Minestrone is Pronto!   Enjoy with some fresh bread.

P.S. Any vegetable you have in your fridge will add extra flavour, you can never overload your Minestrone….kale, courgette, broccoli, peas, green beans, cauliflower, butter nut, pumpkin…….

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