Last night, I made one of the family’s favourite meals in my pressure cooker. As the title hints, it is my world famous Minestrone. It is only world famous because Pam (my Mother in Law) loved it so much when she was last here, she took the recipe back with her to Southampton, UK!
So here is the recipe;
This soup makes enough for eight big servings, so refrigerate or freeze what you don’t use in the first sitting.
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Medium brown onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthways, and thinly sliced
1 medium potato, peeled, and cut into 12mm (half inch) cubes
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 quarter cup of finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 Tbs dried.
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried.
2 large bay leaves
2 cans diced tomatoes, or 750gm fresh, peeled, chopped tomatoes if you have them.
7 cups low sodium chicken stock
5 rashers short cut bacon, diced
1 half cup each of brown lentils, yellow split peas, green split peas, kidney beans, and pearl barley. Alternately, 2 and a half cups of dried soup mix.
1 half cup pasta twists or macaroni
1 half cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Place the dried beans into a large bowl and cover with 2 cm of water. Soak for 6 hours minimum, then rinse and drain well
2. In a large pressure cooker, heat the olive oil over a low heat for 1 minute; add the onion and garlic and cook, uncovered for 5 minutes or until soft. Raise the heat to moderate and add bacon, carrots, potato, celery, basil, oregano, and bay leaves. Cook, uncovered for a further 5 min, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the tomatoes, stock, re-hydrated beans, and pasta. Stir well, then seal the pressure cooker as per manufacturers instructions, and bring up to pressure. When at pressure, cook for 25 minutes.
4. Release pressure, and when safe, open lid, remove bay leaves. Wait 5 minutes before serving. It is very hot! Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on the soup, and with fresh crusty bread rolls.
Here is a photo of some of the left over soup that we reheated and had for lunch today. It tastes even better the next day!
This soup doesn’t last long around here, and everyone goes back for seconds. It is nice, healthy, and quick to make. I used fresh herbs, onions, parsnips (I substituted one of the carrots) from my garden. Near the end of summer I should be able to use mostly home grown ingredients for this soup, enhancing the flavour even more. I have been known to swap the celery for zucchini when I have them. It makes it much richer.