When the winter ills hit this is just the ticket. Week before last my little frills came down with a tummy bug that dragged on a few days.. so worried I took them the doctor and her attention was more focussed on me: 'You look run down" I conceded yes, I had a sore throat and was tired, I was probably coming down with a cold. Que sera sera. She urged me to open my mouth and say 'aaaaah'.
I complied and then soonafter learned that I had acute tonsilitis. Turns out I was the only one of us who walked out with a prescription and strict rules to go to bed for three days. Errrm right. I did however rest the next few days and by the end of middle of the second day I got bored with being sick and decided to make myself some minestrone - inspired by a recipe of Gary Mehigans'. His version has many deli items and I wanted to use what I had using one pot - so set to work - thirty minutes later I had this.
And it's delicious. I used some fancy pasta I picked up in my travels - I have a thing for frills you see ;)
250g bacon, roughly diced
1 tb liquid smoke (not implicitly necessary but it does give a lovely flavour)
1 tb olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, finely chopped/sliced
1 carrot, finely chopped/sliced
2 sticks celery, finely chopped/sliced
1 1/2 litres chicken stock
400g tin diced tomatoes
2 tb tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 - 2 cups dry pasta (use spiralli/penne -something with some weight to it)
handful baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
Heat oil in your large pot. Add bacon, liquid smoke and some pepper, stir until soft.
Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic, stir until slightly softened (about 4 minutes)
Add stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, bayleaf and thyme, turn stove to a simmer and allow vegetables to soften - about 8 minutes then add the raw pasta.
Simmer for a further 8-10 minutes until pasta is soft, top up with stock if the soup starts to lack liquid - some people like more 'soupy' some like 'chunky'...
So friends what do you like to eat when you're ill? What's your favourite pasta?
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