Here's one of my own favourite family soups, my Mum's minestrone. She always makes it in her pressure cooker - I always make it in my crockpot. I don't know where she got the recipe, but it has niente to do with Italy... But mamma mia, it's good! ;)
- an onion (a good soup always starts with an onion)
- butter or oil for frying (if not using crockpot)
- one or two cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped (if you like garlic)
- couple of leeks, couple of carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 pint or ½ litre of stock (I use chicken stockcubes)
- tin of tomatoes
- one tablespoon of sugar
- teaspoon of dried herbs (oregano, thyme or basil - use what you have)
- small handful of rice
- two handfuls of pasta, or spaghetti broken into wee bits
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- bacon in small pieces (see note below)
You can put the whole 'shebang' in the crockpot and let it cook on high for 4 hours or low for 5+ hours.
Or you can do it on the stove. Fry the onion in a bit of oil or butter. Add the garlic, leeks and carrots and soften. Add the stock, tinned tomatoes, sugar, herbs, rice, pasta and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
I always add bacon to mine. Either cut up into small bits and thrown in with everything else, so it gives flavour to the soup but is still soft. Or I fry it (in the oven for about 15 minutes at 200c/400f) until it's really crispy and ready to crumble on the top.
Bon appétit and happy snowy Saturday! :)