Let’s have a soup night this week

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I love soup nights! They don’t come very often these days. There was a time when once a week we used to have soup night at home and then slowly we reverted back to the heavy dinners. Yesterday my neighbour was not feeling well. We have some kind of a virus going around and quite a few of us have been down with cold, cough and fever. So I thought of making some soup for her and decided to make it a soup night for us as well.

I have this big bulky folder of loose papers with recipes that I wrote while on travel and recipe cuttings from magazines. While flipping through its pages for some inspiration, I found Minestrone! I checked I had all the basic ingredients and so Minestrone soup it was!

When I took the pot to her place, she exclaimed saying: “You did this from scratch? O My Gosh! It looks so beautiful! Tell your husband he is a very very lucky man!”

I had soaked some black eyed peas the night before as that was what my original dinner plan and they went perfectly well into the Minestrone!

With this we revived our tradition of soup nights once again. So you might be seeing more soup recipes in this column in the coming weeks!

Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Preparation: 15 mins| Cooking Time: 30 mins| Serves 4

Ingredients
1 onion, cubed
1/2 cup spinach stalks, cubed (yes spinach stalks! I have decided never to throw them away.. just bite into one and you will see why!)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
4 large tomatoes, cut into small cubes
1.5 litres vegetable stock (I used 2 Maggi vegetable stock cubes to make 1.5 ltrs)
125 gms spaghetti, broken into half
1/2 cup black eyed peas, soaked overnight and boiled (you can use canned black eyed peas as well)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp dried basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp Olive oil

Method
• Cook spaghetti as per the packet instructions. Drain and keep aside.

• Heat oil in a large deep pan and sauté the carrots over medium heat. Add onion and spinach stalk and cook covered for 10 minutes until the carrots and onions are soft.

• Add tomatoes and the stock and bring to a simmer. (If using fresh peas, add them along with the tomatoes.)

• Now add spaghetti and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, dried basil, the boiled black eyed peas and peas and simmer for another 5 minutes.

• Check seasoning and ladle into soup bowls and serve with some crusty bread. (The picture here misses the bread because my husband was clicking the photos while I was heating the bread!)

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