“Pick-Your-Own Minestrone” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

Maureen: Well, we have a number of problems with this recipe, right out of the gate.

Andrew (12): Like what?

Maureen: Well, Hugh wants us to go into our garden and pick our own vegetables for this.

Nicholas (8): But we don’t have a garden!

Andrew: And it’s winter! Even if we had a garden, we wouldn’t be able to go out and pick any of them.

Maureen: Precisely. However, I visited the boys at The Creaky Shed and picked out the vegetables from there. Do you think that counts?

Nicholas: No.

Maureen: Hugh also advises that we should make the vegetable prep a family event. He wants us to gather around our picnic table and each of us prepare a vegetable.

Andrew: Well, that would be a problem, since it’s winter. As already discussed.

Maureen: It’s a nice idea, but I couldn’t see it happening, even in the summer. I think I could find more fun family events than cutting up vegetables.

Maureen: Well, I think it’s nice. It’s perfect for a cold winter day, even if that does mean we can’t go pick our own. What do you think?

Andrew: It’s OK.

Nicholas: It’s fine, but it could be better.

Maureen: How?

Nicholas: I don’t know.

Tim: They just don’t like it because it’s so healthy and full of vegetables. I think it’s good.

Maureen: It was also very easy, aside from having to cut up all the vegetables.

Tim: If you can cut vegetables, you can cook this dinner.

Maureen: Precisely.

Cook’s Notes: Hugh said to cut the zucchini only in half moons, but I thought that made those pieces much bigger than the rest of the vegetables in the soup. So I ended up going back and fishing them all out and cutting them into smaller pieces. But all in all, this was very good, easy and delicious for lunch the next day.


“Pick-Your-Own Minestrone” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

3 thoughts on ““Pick-Your-Own Minestrone” from “The River Cottage Family Cookbook”

  1. njba says:

    I want to like Hugh, I really do, but he just comes off as so damn preachy and a bit prattish. That’s why I much prefer Nigel Slater: sure he encourages the ‘just duck to your veggie patch and pull out a perfect knobbly carrot’ approach, but at the same time delights in a take away pizza or something else déclassé.

  2. Maureen Stapleton says:

    Overall, I think this has been a good cookbook. I can see Hugh’s point in how easy and great it is to have one’s own vegetable patch, but that’s just not realistic for everyone. I completely lack a green thumb and using our smallish garden for football/cricket playing is more of a priority, so that just isn’t going to happen.

    I do get annoyed with anyone– Hugh, Jamie, Nigel– gets all evangelical about the need for a vegetable patch and how great it is and how we should all do it, etc etc. They’ve all been guilty of it one time or another. Isn’t it enough that we’re making homemade healthy food??

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