This post was earlier cross posted in Vidya’s blog, Traditionally Modern Food (TMF). I did a guest post for her and here it is. Thanks again Vidya for giving me this opportunity. :-)
When Vidya asked me for guest post, I was really elated and humbled and when the theme was “Toddler food” I couldn’t say no for sure. Also when Vidya asks, how can this Vidhya say No? :-) Vidya was my first virtual friend from the food blogging community. What do I say about her and her blog? The blog name says it all – Traditionally Modern Food. I love all her recipes and especially the baked versions of thattai, vadai and other delicacies. Its in my todo list and will be trying them soon. I got a chance to meet her also. A fun person to be with and the other thing that I like about her is she readily shares her tips that she follows for posting and stuff. Now tell me who will do that?? I am glad to find a friend for life. Wishing her good luck for all her future endeavours.
Here is her social media presence
Blog link: https://traditionallymodernfood.wordpress.com/
FB link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Traditionally-Modern-Food/762621750435010?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark
Pinterest link: http://www.pinterest.com/tradmodfood/traditionally-modern-food/
Now coming to the recipe, I have mentioned many times in my blog that my kiddo loves soup. In my opinion, soups are best ways to sneak in the vegetables.
Initially I used to give him pureed soups and then started chunky soups. The veggie chunks soaked in the soup broth is easier to chew and a great way to introduce vegetables. The Minestrone soup is a famous Italian soup and its one of the famous dish in the Olive Garden – Italian chain restaurant in US. Whenever we go there, we have this soup for sure. Its loaded with veggies, beans and pasta. I have tried similar kind with Indian spices but here is the recipe with Italian spices. Its a filling soup and you can pack this for lunch too along with some sandwich.
Celery – 2 stalks
Carrot – 2
Zucchini – 2
Tomatoes – 3 to 4
Red kidney beans – 1 can
White cannellini beans – 1/2 can
Vegetable broth – 1 can (32 oz)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 2 tbsps
Shell Pasta – 1 cup
Dried Oregano – 1 tsp
Dried Basil – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Freshly crushed pepper – 1 tsp
Grated cheese while serving – as required (Parmesan will go well, but you can choose your favorite)
Water – 4 cups
Boil the three tomatoes in 4 cups of water till the skin peels off. It will take upto 12-15 minutes
While the tomatoes are getting done, chop the shallots, celery, carrots and zucchini.
Let the tomatoes cool, peel the skin and chop them into chunks.
Heat the pan and add oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the onions and saute till they are translucent.
Now add the chopped veggies, oregano, basil and salt and Mix well.
Let it cook for up to 3-4 minutes.
Now add the tomato chunks and mix well.
Add the pasta and vegetable broth.
Let the pasta cook in the vegetable broth for 8-10 minutes till they are al dente.
Finally add the beans and crushed pepper and let it cook for another 3 minutes.
1) You can use regular onion instead of shallots. The traditional recipe doesn’t call for shallots though.
2) If you notice I went with store bought beans and broth. You can make them from scratch too. Soak a handful of beans and pressure cook it by adding 1/4 tsp of salt. Similarly whenever I do kootu, I save the boiled veggie water and use it as broth. But if I don’t have it in hand I go for store bought.
3) You can also use canned tomatoes and that gives you the red color to the soup.
I prefer Low Sodium canned products and when you use the canned beans rinse them before adding it to the soup and adjust the salt accordingly