The air was autumnal, the sky was grey and we had just returned from a week of eating all sorts of goodness in the US (read: fried chicken, pizza, cheesesteaks), so there was only one thing for it– a bowl of healthy soup. Minestrone fit the bill perfectly.
Once again, Nigella did not disappoint. As with all vegetable-centric dishes, the prep– chopping, peeling and the like– is what takes up so much time. But Nigella soothingly tells us in the introduction that you can chop one set of vegetables, throw it in at a low heat, and then move on to prepare the next one. It makes sense.
She does note that the soup does turn out to be “an undeniable khaki,” and that’s true. See above. This is one recipe where it probably is a good thing that there’s no photos in this book.
The one thing that tripped me up was Nigella’s recommendation to use Ligurian olive oil. I spent a fair amount of time in my local Waitrose trying, and failing, to find Ligurian olive oil. I went for the Tuscan olive oil instead, reasoning that it was the next region over, so close enough (though she says the Tuscan stuff is more peppery). But funnily enough, that night we finally sat down to watch “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” on Netflix— a cookbook we reviewed earlier this year— and Samin Nosrat goes to Liguria to see them make olive oil. Coincidental or poetic? You decide.
We had loads of leftovers, but I’ve got to say that the soup is even better the next day. Once again, Nigella for the win.