Easy Minestrone soup- Helppo Minestrone keitto

WP_20131101_005This is one of Rachel Khoo’s recipes. As usual I did not follow the recipe religiously but decided to add something and leave something out, but I would say this minestrone soup was inspired by Rachel’s Khoo’s soup that can be found in her book ”The Little Paris Kitchen”.  This soup belongs to the Provençal cuisine and is perfect now when the winter is approaching and houses are cooler (at least here in England). The secret of this delicious soup is the ”pistou”, it gives such a wonderful touch for it and of course you need  a proper loaf of French country style bread on side! My dear Aussie husband almost licked her soup bowl last night as the soup was so tasty, so you should try to make it too! By the way I love the small Creuset soup bowls that you can see in the picture. They are fantastic. The soup stays warm for ages and also you can put them to the oven and cook small portions of soup like onion soup in them. They are visually gorgeous too, don’t you think?

Soup:

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

500ml chicken stock

500ml vegetable stock

3 tbs tomato puree

1-2 tbs sugar

sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 red capsicum

1 carrot

1 zucchini

1 can of Green giant beans in tomato sauce (or white beans in tomato sauce)

1 portion of pasta (1cm bunch of dry pasta) -I used corn and rice pasta to keep it gluten free.

50ml dry white wine

1. Cut the onions and garlic. Fry them until golden brown.

2. Add chicken and vegetable stock.

3. Add tomato puree, sugar, thyme and bay leaf.

4. Add the cut carrot, capsicum and zucchini and let it simmer.

5. Add gigantic beans and their sauce. Add the wine.

6. Finally add the pasta (fold the long ones to smaller pieces) and cook until Al dente.

Pistou:

bunch of basil

3 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1. Puree until it is pesto like consistency.

Serve the soup with the small bit of ”pistou” on top -yum! Bon Appétit!

Tämä resepti on Rachel Khoon. Kuten yleensä, en seurannut ohjetta orjallisesti vaan sovelsin lisäämällä jotakin ja jättämällä jotakin pois. Toisin sanoen, tämä resepti on Rachel Khoon innoittama ja antoi minulle inspiraation luovasti soveltaa hänen mainiota minestrone keiton ohjettaan. Koko ohjeen salaisuus piilee mielestäni ”pistou” pureessa (hieman kuten pesto), joka tarjoillaan keiton silmänä ja antaa viimeisen silauksen herkulliseen reseptiin. Ohje on helppo ja nopea, juuri sopiva työpäivän jälkeiseen kiireiseen kokkailuun tai kotiäidin minuuttiaikatauluun. Tämä ihanainen keitto tulee luonnollisesti tarjoilla ranskalaisen maalaisleivän kanssa! Kuvassa näkyvät Creuset keittokulhot ovat ehdottomia suosikkejani. Keitto pysyy niissä lämpimänä pitkään ja  kulhot voi myös laittaa uuniin ja niissä voi kypsentää esimerkiksi yksittäisiä sipulikeittoannoksia.  Kulhot ovat visuaalisesti myös kauniita, eikö?

Keitto:

1 sipuli

2 valkosipulin kynttä

500ml kanalientä

500ml kasvislientä

3 rkl tomaattipuretta

1-2 rkl sokeria

muutama oksa timjamia

1 laakerinlehti

1 punainen paprika

1 porkkana

1 kesäkurpitsa

1 purkki kreikkalaisia giganttipapuja (voipapuja) tomaattikastikkeessa tai sitten vaaleita papuja tomaattikastikkeessa

1 annos pastaa (1cm nippu kuivaa spagettia) Voit käyttää maissi tai riisipastaa gluteiinittomaan ohjeeseen.

50ml kuivaa valkoviiniä

1. Pilko sipuli ja valkosipuli. Ruskista sipulit pannulla.

2. Lisää kana- ja kasvisliemet.

3. Lisää tomaattipure, sokeri, timjami ja laakerinlehti.

4. Lisää pilkotut porkkanan, paprikan ja kesäkurpitsan palat.

5. Lisää pavut ja viini.

6. Viimeiseksi lisää pasta ja keitä siten, että pasta on juuri al dente.

Pistou:

nippu basilikaa

3 rkl oliiviöljyä

2 valkosipulin kynttä

1. Soseuta kunnes on sileää sosetta.

Tarjoile keitto pienen pistou silmäkkeen kanssa -herkullista! Bon Appétit

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Butternut squash couscous

It’s been a while since I wrote a recipe in my blog. I added a review of ”Simply Scandinavian” cookibook I was asked to write and I added it into my pages. Relocating to London took some time, but now we’ve settled down and I can say from the bottom of my heart: I love London. The supermarkets are wonderful, I can find whatever I need to from Thai to Japanese. This internationality makes cooking so much easier when one doesn’t have to hunt ingredients for certain dish with cats and dogs.

For me as a Finn, using pumpkins in cooking is not familiar. To be honest it was last year when I actually tasted pumpkin served with meat. Of course I have eaten pumpkin pie at Halloween, but that’s about it. Anyway, my new beloved ingredient is butternut squash. It goes well with a risotto, couscous even with a roast too. I did vegetarian risotto using butternut squash and it was tasty. The following recipe is a couscous which can be a vegetarian or chicken one, you decide. The secret part of it is the butternut squash, which gives sweet flavour and betrays replacing the meat if needed.

1 mid size butternut squash

2dl couscous

3 tbs pesto (green)

rocket salad

cherry tomatoes

(2 chicken breatss sliced, if wanted)

black pepper

salt

olive oil

1. Peal and cut the butternut squash. mix cubes with some good quality olive oil, black pepper and salt. Cook teh cubes on a baking tray in the oven for 20min so that the cubes become soft and brownish.

2. Cook the couscous. Boil 2 dl of water add the couscous, put the lid on and let it rest for 5-10 min.

3. Half  the cherry tomatoes.

4. Add 3 tbs of pesto into couscous and mix it well. Add cooked butternut squash cubes, cherry tomatoes, rocket salad, salt and pepper into couscous. If you want to have a non-vegeterian version add the cooked chicken slices.

Enjoy, this is a healthy and fresh tasting dinner!

Tempting Tabbouleh

4 dl cooked coucous/bulgar

5 tomatos

1 red onion

1 dl fresh parsley

2 tbs fresh mint

2 tbs fresh coriander

1 red capsicum

1 red chili/chilipowder/chili sauce

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 pressed lemon

salt and blackpepper

1. Cook the couscous.

2.Cut all the ingredients into small fine cubes. Chop all the fresh spices.

3. Mix everything together and spice it in the end.

4. Tzatziki goes extremely well with this tempting tabbouleh and falafels!

Beany Leftover Chicken Sauce

One Sunday night we figured out that the fridge was almost empty, stores were closed and all we had was some frozen chicken, a can of beans in tomato sauce and on a plate some Hollandaise sauce left from morning… -we had a lovely English muffin breakfast-  neither of us thought about dinner until it was too late and we were starving.. Because this recipe was unplanned and made of leftovers it wil lbe called a leftover beany sauce.  Suprisingly it was quite nice, quick and easy..

1 big onion

1 garlic clove

1-2dl Hollandaise sauce

1 can of beans in tomato sauce

sliced chicken breast

2-3 tbs KeCap Manis

1tbs sugar

salt and black pepper

1. Cook the onions, add the chicken, add the bean sauce and finish the taste with some kecap Manis, salt and pepper.

2. Serve it with some rice.

And you will be surprised it is quite tasty isn’t it?