I guess sometimes soup can just be…pot luck. Under the misapprehension recently that winter had started, I assembled a group of ingredients for an affair I call minestrone, though I make no particular claims to a rigorous use of that name, only to discover that I had neither carrots nor celery, both of which I would have thought to be essential to the cause. And yet, the soup that resulted from their absence – I decided to soldier on with what I had – was a revelation in sweetness and taste that makes me wonder. Surely carrot isn’t the culprit that would stop this wonderful taste from developing in my usual minestrone – it is sweet, after all. That leaves celery to take all the blame. I have no idea if this has any merit as an idea. All I know is that the following looked quite dull and drab in the bowl, but this was completely belied by the taste.
a couple of onions, peeled and diced
leeks peeled, washed, and white parts sliced – I used about six.
several slices of bacon or some such, diced – GOOD QUALITY
a big bag of fresh berlotti bean. Shell.
green beans, washed topped, tailed, diced.
several large FANTASTIC tomatoes, washed and diced. Don’t need to peel.
salt and pepper at the end, to taste.
No more than this: gently fry the onions in the olive oil, add the bacon and leeks after the onions have softened a little. To tell the truth, I can’t recall whether I added garlic or not. After the lot has softened some more, add maybe 6 cups of water, the beans, the borlottis and the diced tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of hours.
That’s it. Unprepossessing indeed, but delicious.