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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mini-me minestrone

A winter warmer on a foggy grey day when everyone's slept in. Bonus: Using up the leftovers in the vegetable drawer. And a can from the pantry stash.

Mini-me (9 months old) enjoyed it. Purple cabbage confetti and crinkly celery crescents and twinkling pasta stars and all.

Minestrone My Way

2 medium red onions, chopped
1 bunch of celery stems, chopped
1 carrot, diced
Half a head of purple cabbage, chopped
2 large plum tomatoes, diced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 can Heinz organic baked beans
1 scant cup small pasta (I used stellini)
Sprinkling of cheese (Parm's the classic but it's too salty for a baby piglet, so I crumbled in some Gouda)

1. Heat olive oil and soften the onions, celery and carrot in pressure-cooker pan on low heat.
2. Add cabbage and sauté till starting to soften.
3. Mix in tomatoes and thyme.
4. Open the can of beans and pour in, plus a can and a half of water (you could use stock of course, or a splash of white wine for grown-ups; I was trying to dilute the salt in the beans for baby).
5. Throw in the pasta and close the lid. Increase to medium-high heat. Wait for the steam to hiss out, then reduce to a simmer.
6. Turn the gas off 10 minutes later and let the pressure dissipate.
7. Serve with cheese crumbled or grated on, a swirl of pesto for older persons and seasoning on the side.

Carnivores, feel free to start with chopped bacon rind or bits of ham in the pan!

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