To go along with the stick blender that she bought me for my birthday, Cindy splashed out for a copy of Soup For All Seasons from Aduki. It's a small soup cookbook put out by the good folks from Las Vegan, with twenty recipes for delicious vegan soups. Alas, very few of them require stick-blending - they're mostly chunky and hearty. Take, for example, this minestrone.
It's chock full of vegie chunks, pasta bits, beans and flavourings. It's good winter food - filling and hot with simple, earthy flavours. On the whole the flavours are a little plain - tomato and herbs do most of the work, which is fine for dinner, but started to wear us down after a few serves of leftovers.
2 leeks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large carrots, sliced
2 sticks of celery, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannellini beans
4-6 cups of vegie stock
3 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 cup small pasta noodles
1/2 bunch fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat oil in a large saucepan, and add the leeks, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves and dry herbs and cover and sweat over low heat until the vegies start to soften (about 10 minutes)
Add the tomatoes and stock, and stir together. Bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour, with the occasional stir.
Add the beans and potatoes, cook for 10 more minutes.
Add the pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes or so, until the pasta noodles have cooked properly. Serve with the basil on top and with some bread on the side.