A colourful, mouth-watering Minestrone

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I love weekends filled with cooking. The house smells fantastic, the fridge and freezer fill up with beautiful meals that I’ll be enjoying in the following weeks. A spiced peach jam, lentil and eggplant sheperds pie, spanish lentil soup, clam and corn chowder, vichyssoise and this delicious minestrone. If I had more time, I’d document all I’ve done but sometimes you just want to get on with it!!! I’ll be running full steam ahead over the next weeks, I will start canning and pickling on top of cooking comfort food we all crave once the wearher cools. I can’t wait!

Minestrone has a flexible ingredient list according to what you have on hand and what’s seasonal. It checks all the boxes for me at the end of summer. Fresh ingredients, warmth and a hit of flavour with all those fragrant herbs from the garden. So any ingredient you see in this list can be switched to what suits your tastes and what you’ve picked up at the market 🙂

Ingredients

2-3 chipolata sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup fresh roma beans

1 of each green and yellow zuchini, quartered

1 onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch kale, shredded

1 large tomato, diced

200-300 gr. fusilli or similar pasta

Sprigs of each fresh oregano and thyme

1 teaspoon each chili flakes and fennel seeds, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for cooking

1 litre chicken stock

Parmesan shavings and basil to garnish

Instructions

Heat a little olive oil in a large casserole over medium heat, add onions and sweat for a few minutes then add garlic until fragrant. Add sausage pieces then zucchini, stirring frm time to time. Whe sausage starts to colour add tomatoes and beans. Stir to combine and continue to cook until tomatoes start blistering, add stock, herbs, spices and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to come to a slow simmer, then add kale and pasta and cook for 20-30 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente. Serve in large soup bowl topped with parmesan and granish with basil. Makes 4-6 portions, freezes for up to a month and keeps n the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!

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A quick and easy dinner – Salmon, mango & avocado salad

IMG_0706Sometimes there are just too many things to do. Too much work, too many errands, too many projects. That’s when imagination is key, because despite being busy, I still want to eat well. And I still want it to be good. I am always amazed at the last-minute, 15 minutes or less dinners I come up with. When friends or colleagues say that they’re just too busy to cook, I have to scratch my head. Build up a repertoire of easy go-to recipes and from time to time, improvise. You’ll be surprised at what you come up with! The weather isn’t quite what it usually is at this time of year, however I really crave fresh fruits and veggies. Although these are not local, avocado, mango with tomato and basil really work well together and as a side to salmon, well it’s just really delicious!

RECIPE

120 gr. salmon filet,

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

1/2 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

5-6 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

Thinly sliced red onion

Basil, cilantro and mint, minced

1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnishing

1/2 lime

Mexican chili

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat skillet on medium and add sesame oil to coat. Salt salmon fillet and place skin side up and cook until browned (3-4 minutes). Turn on other and cook a further 2-3 minutes or until salmon is cooked but just pink in center. Remove from heat. In a serving bowl, add avocado, mango, tomatoes and herbs. Season with salt, pepper and mexican chili. Toss to mix and top with salmon. Garnish with green onion slices and a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 1. Bon appétit!

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