Updated: Apr 12, 2020
Paul was headed out for the weekend and I was quarantined at home so, with wine in hand, I wanted to make a cozy night in dish. Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking has a full section of soup recipes that we are about to make our way through.
Because it was simple and heavy on vegetables (aka nutrients), I went with the Vegetable Minestrone. I have had minestrone many different ways at restaurants, in family homes, and out of the occasional can. As the book says, every Italian family has their own recipe and the fresh vegetables differ by the season.
We support our local farm store so the vegetables are always fresh and full of flavor. I picked up onion, celery, carrot, zucchini, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and cherry tomatoes to include in this soup. Used to cooking with vegetable or meat broth, it was surprising to see water as the only additional ingredient in this recipe.
The most tedious part of this recipe was washing, peeling, and chopping all of the vegetables. Once they were added to the water the cooking was slow and steady to the finish. It's a great recipe to prepare and leave after (or during) a busy day.
The flavor of the broth came purely from the vegetables, salt, and a touch of olive oil. There was no additional seasonings that brought this dish to life. It was warm and definitely a nice soup for dipping bread or sandwiches into but it lacked flavor. If I was to make this again I would throw in some red pepper, a chicken broth, or bolder ingredients so the dish had more of a personality.
The Decoy by Duckhorn Chardonnay retails around $14.99 at most wine stores and is a great option for affordable weeknight wines. Having visited Duckhorn in California last spring and trying many bottles at home, we are big fans of the Decoy line. The citrus flavors brightened up the palate so you had a better flavor experience than if you were to eat the soup alone or with a more subtle bottle.
Last but not least... you can't have a real soup experience without your added carbohydrate! If it's not grilled cheese, we go for a fresh slice of bakery bread. A few of our favorites are scalla, french bread, or a slice of sourdough.