Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Minestrone

In 1968, Julia Child's television cookbook introduced me to vegetable-based soup enriched with pistou. The net is a mother lode of variations. Making this soup took several hours the first time I put it together. Over the decades in low and high tech kitchens, I have learned that any variation of any ingredient will produce a good bowl.

I came to suspect that pistou might have originated as a way for the cook to use odds and ends that were coming ripe at different intervals in the kitchen garden. Last week, cooking for one, I improvised a one-bowl version based on Japan's traditional ramen noodles.

I put enough water into an enameled cast-iron pot to cook one package of soba, added a vegan bouillon cube, one thinly sliced carrot and potato, and a handful of juvenile chard leaves. The noodles went in after the roots were just tender. When the noodles were done, I turned off the heat, added a dollop of pesto sauce, and chowed down. Total elapsed time including the harvest was five minutes -30-

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