In my continued quest to use up all my vegetables every week as well as getting my “five a day”, I discovered this recipe on one of my favourite websites, Italian Food Forever. This is basically a vegetable stew but not a soup as it has a much thicker consistency.
It seems that the traditional recipe is based on the same vegetables used in a caponata, i.e eggplant, zucchini etc. but I have modified it to suit the vegetables I had to hand which I suppose is part of the joy of cooking really – taking a recipe and making it your own.
1 large Onion, chopped
2-3 medium Carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of Celery, chopped
1 Broccoli Stalk, peeled and chopped
1 small bulb Fennel, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 tbspn Olive Oil
400gm can Cherry Tomatoes
2 tbspn Tomato Paste
1 tspn dried Oregano
1 cup Water
3 tbspn Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 cup Fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Olives, chopped (optional – I didn’t include as I don’t like olives!)
1/4 cup of Capers, rinsed
Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper to season
Heat the olive oil in one of your largest saucepans and add all the vegetables and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables soften – about 10 minutes.
Add the canned cherry tomatoes, the tomato paste, water, oregano, basil and half the parsley. Gently stir together and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Stir through the olives (if using), capers and the remainder of the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This can be served warm or at room temperature, eaten on it’s own or served as an accompaniment to chicken, chops, sausages etc.
This will be sustaining me through my work lunches for the next couple of days during what is turning out to be a particularly cold start to our winter here in W.A. and I am sure I shall be be trying out a number of vegetable variations of this recipe before spring.