23 April 2012

How One Leftover leads to Another


~  Menu  ~

Minestrone-ish Soup
Wild Garlic Bread
Glass of Red

This lunch was the first dish in a series of meals created to use up leftovers.  Having grated a piece of gran padano down to the rind I decided that I would use the heel of the cheese to make some warming minestrone-ish soup.


Simple Minestrone (ish) Soup

1 small red onion – finely diced
about ¼ carrot – finely diced
1 celery stalk – finely diced
a smidgen of garlic – either paste or crushed
½ tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp tomato paste
150g canned chopped tomatoes
hot vegetable stock
100g cannellini beans
a heel of parmesan
a few veg of your choice (savoy cabbage is traditional)

~   Cook the onion, carrot and celery in the oil over medium heat till starting to caramelise.
~   Stir in the garlic and cook a few seconds more.
~   Add the tomato paste and cook a few more seconds more!
~   Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil.
~   Now add enough vegetable stock to make a lovely soupy consistency.
~   Turn down the heat, cover and simmer till the vegetables are tender.
~   Remove from the heat and add the parmesan heel.  Cover and leave to steep for 20-30 minutes by which time the cheese should have done its work.  Remove the rind but stir in any cheese that has melted into the soup.
~   Return to a boil, stir in the cannelloni beans and any veg you might using, cover and simmer till the vegetables are to your liking.


I slathered some Ciabatta with Wild Garlic Pesto and toasted it to serve with the soup.  Unfortunately after making the soup I had half a container of white beans left so I made …

White Bean and Wild Garlic Dip

120g cooked or canned cannellini beans
4 or 5 well washed wild garlic leaves
A squeeze of lemon juice
A little olive oil
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

~   Process together the beans and wild garlic and then with the processor running drizzle in the olive oil till a hummus like texture is achieved.  (Yes, as you will see from the photo I well a little too far!)
~   Season to taste with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.


A white wine Spritzer was called for in this instance.


As it happened I couldn't eat all the hummus and so I made Wild Garlic and Potato Soup and stirred in the last of the white bean stuff.  This was especially cunning of me because not only did I have some ready cooked “Onions Soubise” in the fridge I also had a modicum of leftover mashed potato, so this is what I did.


~   Gently heated the onions till warm and melty.

~   Stirred in the leftover mashed potato together with enough vegetable stock (Oxo) to make a soup consistency.

~   Turned down the heat, covered and cooked for about 10 minutes to meld the flavours.
~   Stirred in a handful of wild garlic leaves till wilted.
~   Tipped the whole lot into the food processor together with knob of clotted cream (but double cream, single cream, crème fraîche, milk etc. would work too) and puréed till smoth.
~   I then stirred in the leftover White Bean Hummus which gave a little texture.

That worked!  Sorry no photo, camera battery was flat.  I blame myself!

I ate the lot this time but if I hadn’t I was thinking of trying any leftover soup with bacon and cream as a pasta sauce!




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