It’s Monday morning and – since we were away for the weekend – the fridge is looking pretty bare. I know I’ll have to make a run to the market at some point today. But…it’s raining, I’m lazy and…well, it’s Monday. There should be an easier answer to lunch.
Our apartment is pretty small, so our medium sized fridge in the kitchen has a smaller sister out in the hall, where I tend to store vegetables. Since it’s not the fridge that the family opens a million times a day, it tends to stay pretty cold, so the veggies last longer. So I decide to see what’s hiding out there, although I’m pretty sure there’s not much.
As it turns out there is plenty. And plenty I’ve forgotten about. Two lonely peppers left over from the 3 kilos Domenico brought back from Piemonte three weeks ago. A couple of carrots. Two fat leeks I picked up god knows when. And I small head of lettuce that is surprisingly perky.
The big surprise was a plastic bag full of wild greens i had bought last week at the farmers market but never used. Borage, chicory, dandelion greens, even some chard I think.
So before I head down to my office for the day, I chop up everything, knowing it will be ready for lunch. My mom calls this ‘clean out the fridge soup.’ I call it Monday Morning Minestrone.
monday morning minestrone
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 small hot pepper
2 fat leeks
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 big bowl full of greens
1 small head of lettuce
2 cups of canned tomatoes
Heat olive oil in a big soup pot, and add chopped onions.
Finely chop garlic and hot pepper, add to onions.
Let this cook for about 8 minutes, to fully flavor oil.
Chop carrots, leeks and peppers into bite size pieces. Add to pot.
Wash and drain greens and lettuce. Chop roughly and add to pot.
Add canned tomatoes, salt and parsley.
Add enough water to cover and cook slowly for about an hour. When it’s finished cooking, use an immersible blender for a couple of seconds, just to thicken up the brought a bit. You still want it chunky.
Taste and correct for salt.
Of course you can play around with ingredients. As I’m writing this I realize I completely forgot to add an old piece of parmesan rind which would have been perfect. I also forgot about adding an potato. My friend Sienna always seems to have pesto in her freezer, which I know would be a great addition.
Serve with crusty bread if you have it (if it’s monday and you haven’t been shopping yet, just use crackers). Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a grating of parmesan.