Isabelle with fresh Italian vegetables, in Tuscany.
The smell of onions cooking, chopped vegetables that make an earthy rainbow, and ramazzotti playing in the background. The comfort of sitting around a wooden table with family while enjoying a glass of red wine as you dip crusty bread into the sumptuous hot liquid chock full of potatoes, and then head outside to appreciate a Tuscan sunset. Sometimes life is a dream.
While in Tuscany this past spring, Isabelle and her father made a soup that she still talks about. Often cooking together, Isabelle and her dad appreciate every ingredient and scent. They make their own pesto every year, and share a love of the saying A tavola non s’invecchia, which translates as “At the table no one grows old“. Within 10 minutes of being together, they typically start talking food as they share an intense passion for trying a wide variety of recipes.
Here is the recipe for the soup they made. I have been saving this morsel for October, a month of transition from summer to a colder season, when comfort food enjoyed around the table with family becomes paramount.
Minestrone à la roquette
This is a classic mix of chicken bouillon and vegetables. Add some arugula at the end to add a delicious peppery taste.
Source: Stefano Faita “Entre cuisine et quincaillerie”
Serves: 4 to 6
1 stick of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 potatoes, cubed
6 cups chicken stock (preferably made from scratch, at least low in salt. Try Pacific brand.)
3/4 cup arborio rice
2 bunches of roquette, torn
4 tablespoons of parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded
salt & pepper to taste
In a casserole, soften the celery, carrot, onion and garlic in warm olive oil (don’t let them get brown though).
After 3 minutes, add the potato and 1 cup of broth and let simmer.
Add the rice and the rest of the broth. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the rice is tender.
Remove from the heat and add arugula at the very end so that it does not cook too much.
Season with salt.
Garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan and a little bit of freshly ground pepper.
The delicious finale.
All the beautiful photos taken by Marek Pleszczynski. Grazie! xx