top of page
Get All the New Recipes to Your Inbox
  • Writer's pictureAmy Minichiello

The Bare Necessities

The fridge is in a sad and sorry state after I removed three spindly parsnips, their long tapered ends reminiscent of witches' noses. Three carrots, a slender leek, a quarter-full bag of spinach, and a large handful of parsley. These were the bare bones of what lay before me.

I love cooking like this. All we truly need are the bare necessities - in life and in food - everything else is a bonus, and what one would deem a luxury.

I began by thinly slicing the creamy-white leek into half-moons, followed by the chopped stalks from the parsley. Smallish dice of carrots and parsnips, a few garlic cloves followed once the aforementioned began to soften in their balm of olive oil. A tin of rich tomato paste stirred through to coat the vegetables and allowed to cook for a minute or so. The top of a tin pulled away, revealing a pool of crimson crushed tomatoes. The glug-glug of a 1-litre carton of golden chicken stock. Two parmesan rinds, from the freezer. A bay leaf - a large one, perhaps two smaller ones if that is what you have. A quick dash into the chilled air outside, dodging puddles on my way over to the sprawling rosemary bush, sprig in hand. A good stir over medium heat, waiting for the bubbles to appear before partially covering with a lid to simmer for a good 45 minutes or until those veggies whisper to you that they are tender enough.

Now it is time to add a few rogue beans or even peas. A tin of drained and rinsed chickpeas, and one of lentils too (or whatever pulses or legumes you happen to have on hand). Chop those parsley leaves, let's not keep them waiting any longer and the spinach leaves can be showered over the top. If there are a couple of crusty bread ends lying about, roughly chop them up too, they will soak up some of those wonderfully flavoursome juices. And then give it all a good stir. Taste. More salt? A dose of cracked pepper? Ladle into warmed bowls, and if like me, this clear-out is in order to use everything up due to an impending departure from home for an extended period of time, then take this time to gather your thoughts, file them into a compartment titled, "When I return", scoop any leftover soup into containers, pop these into the freezer with the satisfying feeling of knowing that when you return, a pot of soup will save the day when grumbling tummies, weary from travel, are in need of instant satiation. But do leave those thoughts in that file, at least for a day or two, and bathe in the afterglow - a moment to reminisce. The layers of a widened mind, a satisfied soul, and a recharged body need to linger a little longer before the realities of the day-to-day goings-on of life begin, once again.


The use-everything-up soup

4 tbs light olive oil

1 leek

a large handful of parsley

3 carrots

3 parsnips

3 garlic cloves

140g tin of tomato paste

400g tin crushed tomatoes

2 parmesan rinds

1 bay leaf

1 litre chicken stock

sprig of rosemary

a handful of green beans or peas

as much spinach as you have

tin of chickpeas

tin of lentils

bread ends, optional

salt and pepper

Refer to the above words for the method.

Also, just a quick reminder, that tickets for our Afternoon tea event in Sydney are now available to purchase here if you are able to make it.


bottom of page