Friday, October 2, 2015

Minestra di Indivia e Basilico con Midolline Pasta

     Italian Endive, Basil and Melon Seed Pasta Soup!
     Endive lettuce has a mild bitter flavor that mellows when it is cooked.  The combination of fresh basil and lemon adds a unique flavor contrast.  Midolline is melon seed shaped pasta.  Midolline is perfect for soups.  This is a great tasting Venetian style vegetarian soup!
     Minestra di Indivia e Basilico con Midolline Pasta:
     This recipe yields 1 large bowl of soup!  (About 2 1/4 cups.)
     Many Italian soups are a la minute (cooked to order).  This soup should be made shortly before serving and it should not kept kept warm in a soup warmer. 
     Step 1:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.  
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.  
     Sauté the garlic, till it is a golden color.  
     Step 2:  Add 3 tablespoons of diced carrot.  
     Add 2 tablespoons chopped portobello mushroom.  
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced onion.  
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color.  
     Step 3:  Add 1 cup of coarsely chopped endive lettuce.  
     Sauté till the endive starts to wilt.  
     Step 4:  Add 8 whole fresh large basil leaves.  
     Briefly sauté till the basil leaves wilt.  
     Step 5:  Add 2 3/4 cups of light vegetable broth.  
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.  
     Step 6:  Raise the temperature to medium high heat.
     Bring the soup to a boil.  
     Step 7:  Add 1/4 cup of midolline pasta.  
     Stir the soup occasionally as the pasta cooks.  
     Boil till the pasta is cooked al dente.
     Step 8:  Add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.   
     Remove the bay leaf.  
     Step 9:  Ladle the soup into a shallow soup bowl.  
     Float a thin slice of lemon on the surface of the soup.  
     Garnish with a basil sprig.  
     The midolline pasta does look like melon seeds in this soup.  The small amount of onion and carrot helps to "sweeten" the broth.  No celery is needed for the soffritto vegetable mixture in this soup.  The broth has such a refreshing light flavor!       

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