Marvellous Minestra

One of the best things about a roast chicken (or any roast really) is the making of soup from the chicken stock that gently bubbles away for an afternoon, making the house smell just like a Maltese Nanna’s! And just like my Nanna’s, it means there will be a lovely, home-made dinner for everyone tomorrow even though I am late home.

This is my inauthentic version of Minestra – the Maltese version of minestrone unsurprisingly! As taught to me by both my Nanna’s and my Mum

First strain your chicken stock and add a chopped leek,
finely chopped garlic, some chopped,
tinned Italian tomatoes (fresh are nice if you have them),
a couple of finely chopped, peeled carrots,
a stick of chopped celery (de-stringed) and a good handful of either puy lentils, or a tin of chick peas.
Cook at a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes until the lentils are cooked, then add a heaped handful of tubetti pasta (or whatever else you fancy – even broken spaghetti will be fab.) Taste and season with sea salt.

Serve with hot bread, with a good sprinkling of grated Parmesan and black pepper on the soup.

Thank you ladies.

Addendum: save the rinds of your Parmesan and add them to the Minestra near the end of the cooking time. You won’t need to add salt and the rind will add a lovely depth to the soup.

You can add any seasonal veg that you like; courgettes, kale, cabbage, peas, broad beans etc – just adjust the cooking time accordingly…

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