Sunday, May 11, 2008

Minestrone and ciabatta

The whole flat smells wonderful, there's lovely Italian music on the stereo, I have a glass of Pinot Grigio, a bowl of my best minestrone, and a hunk of GF ciabatta. Just home from a two-hour hike round the lakes, and it's the perfect antidote to the cold and grey out there. (The calendar still insists it's April, but it's deluded.)

Very easy, very quick recipe (makes two nice bowls, 325 calories per bowl):

Start music. Anything Italian will do (I have a preference for Andrea Bocelli).

In large heavy kettle, in 2 Tbsp olive oil, saute 3 cloves minced/crushed garlic, 1 thinly sliced leek, 1 stalk thinly sliced celery, 1 shredded carrot, 1 cup assorted fresh mushrooms, 1 diced zucchini, and 2 oz. pancetta.

When vegetables are tender, add 4 oz white wine and simmer 10-15 minutes. Then add 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock. Simmer for another 15-30 minutes. Time doesn't matter.

If you prefer a few white beans (I usually do, but didn't today), a can is just fine (they've really just boiled them for you). Drain and rinse them, and add them in the last 10 minutes or so.

I got very lucky to find GF-WF-DF ciabatta bread in Tesco today, on the return from my walk! Oh, happy day! They come out with more and more gluten-free/dairy-free goodies for people like me (fact: half of all coeliacs can't 'do' dairy).

Oh, one of my students is in a group which is studying coeliac disease, I was informed by the cooking teacher Friday. I'm going to visit their class and answer questions. Awareness is key -- coeliac is the most common inherited disease (1 in 100 has it).

Okay, off to enjoy my lovely soup.

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