As it's the dead of winter, we have soup a couple of times a week, and it's usually minestrone, pumpkin, broccoli, potato or one of my exotic Asian soups. Minestrone is great, as it basically involves chopping and boiling whatever's in the fridge!.
We fry the following chopped in some olive oil - in this sequence as some bit take longer than others - 1 or 2 onions (10 mins), 3 carrots (2 mins), 3 potatoes (2 mins), 3 sticks celery & a handful of green beans & a zucchini (2 mins).
Then add a 800g can of chopped tomatoes and 5-6 cups of chicken stock. (When a soup recipe says water, I usually use chicken stock instead - err... unless it's beef soup. And yesterday I actually made my stock for a change.) Salt and pepper and let it simmer for 60-90 mins.
I throw in a teaspoon of paprika to give it a bit of a spanish feel. I sometimes add cooked diced bacon or chicken towards the end, and a can of navy beans. Tonight I'm also adding some corn cut from the cob. It's boiled, but baked in the husk always is sweeter - that's how to make a good salsa - but another time!
Fresh bread really makes a soup. We often cheat with the bread machine but I found this brilliant corn bread recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites. As a non-vegetarian, this is my vegetarian cookbook Bible.
The bread takes about 10 mins to make and 25 mins to cook.
You'll need 2 tbspns brown sugar
2 egg whites
3/4 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or sweet potato
1 cup cornmeal (fine maize meal)
1 cup white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbpsn baking powder
Heat the oven to 180C or 350F. Grease a baking tray.
Beat together the brown sugar, egg whites, yoghurt and pumpkin (sweet potato) until its frothy. (I don't know what this means - it's never looked like beer yet - but just do it till it's mixed well.)
Sift the cornmeal, flour salt and baking powder into the mixing bowl.
Now it tells you to gently fold the ingredients together. I have no idea what this means. I'd tried to do it like making a bed or folding towels, but the kitchen gets very messy and so do my arms. I just mix it all a bit gently but not too much.
Bung it in the oven for 20-25 mins. Don't cover it, it's bread! Serve it warm.
If you're nice I'll give you sensational naan bread recipe sometime.
I was going to show a photo of the soup, but I'm still struggling to master soup photography. The photo looked a lot like the last soup but more reddish. Same pot, same wooden spoon.