The winter storms are rolling and rolling across my increasingly sodden and wind lashed world. In desperation, I turned to the Mediterranean for comfort, and to remind me that once there was a less harsh world! By stroke of luck, I found a beautiful big bulb of fennel while I was grocery shopping which led to this lovely recipe. As with all my recipes, this isn’t cast in stone – use what you have and leave out what you don’t!
For four good serves I used :
1 cup of chopped onion
1 bulb of fennel, diced
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
½ medium swede (approximately one cup) (rutabaga)
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
A good handful of chopped green beans (frozen works as well as fresh)
1 400g tin of Italian tomatoes
1 pint of vegetable stock (use Knorr stock pots if you can find them)
2tsp caraway seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup soup pasta (or broken macaroni, spaghetti etc)
Preparation is simple – peel and chop the onion and sauté in a little olive oil while you prepare the rest of the vegetables. After about 10 minutes, add the garlic, fennel, celery, carrot and swede and sweat together for 10 more minutes. Add the tin of tomatoes and the stock and give it all a good stir. Season to taste and add the caraway seeds. Give the soup 20 minutes simmering – until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (you might need several tastings, I did!) then add the soup pasta and cook for 10 more minutes.
Serve with lovely crusty bread, or slices of parmesan toast (toast a few slices of crusty bread, sprinkle with grated parmesan and grill until crispy and golden).
I apologise for the quality of photographs, the real ones are stuck on my SD card as my computer won’t recognise it! I’ll update the blog post as soon as I can with the real ones!
I’d like to dedicate this recipe to my lovely Dad, who loved a good soup. I wish I could have shared it with him.