fast food

“food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
– james beard
{via here}
hi friends,
the typical chilly san francisco weather has taken over the month of july.  so, while the rest of the country is enjoying grilled dinners al fresco, we’re craving suppers that’ll warm our tummies…and are easy to make after an exhausting day.
this past weekend i was seeking advice on this topic from my favorite domestic goddess, the marvelous nigella lawson.  i have maxed out my usual dinner recipes and wanted something hearty but easy to whip up after work. would nigella have an easy and delicious recipe for me? 
of course she did.
nigella’s “minestrone in minutes” recipe is a fantastic meal any day of the week. and depending on your mood, you can add or substitute bits to satisfy your cravings.  for example, rob and i love smoky flavors, so we add bits of bacon and shitake mushrooms. oh, and lots of garlic. yum!
for those of you busy bees who are aching for a home cooked meal, this one’s for you.

p.s – remember to enter in this week’s giveaway! {contest closes monday, 7.19}

sylvie’s simple minestrone soup
{inspired by nigella lawson’s recipe}


1 can white beans 

1 jar tomato-based pasta sauce of your choice

8 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup ditalini or other soup pasta

8 shitake mushrooms, sliced

2 yukon gold potatoes, diced

3 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

4 slices of bacon, chopped into bits

3 cloves garlic, chopped

 drain the beans and put them into a saucepan with the pasta sauce and hot stock.

 bring the pan to the boil and then add the ditalini, potatoes and carrots.

 in a saucepan, fry the bacon bits. add shitake mushrooms and garlic. stir in to soup.

 add chopped celery to pot.

 once the pasta is tender, switch off the pan, remove to a cool surface and let stand for 5–10 minutes if you can bear to wait. the pasta swells in the soup and everything just gets better.

serve with crusty bread.
serves 4

bon appetit!

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Leave a Comment


  1. That looks wonderful. If only it weren’t 100+ degrees here!


    Posted 7.15.10 Reply
  2. EMILY wrote:

    seriously… I’m wearing my I Love Lucy Flannels to bed each night. Flannel jammies.. in July! Oh San Francisco. This meal sounds deeelish. Been enjoying your blog. x Emily

    Posted 7.15.10 Reply
  3. Nikki wrote:

    This looks amazing!
    Thanks for the recipe!


    Posted 7.14.10 Reply
  4. Mary wrote:

    Love this! This sounds (and looks!) fabulous! Great blog; happy I found you!

    Delightful Bitefuls

    Posted 7.14.10 Reply
  5. that looks delicious!! xoxo

    Posted 7.14.10 Reply
  6. Sounds so yummy and easy! I like how you added some more veggies. going to bookmark!

    Posted 7.14.10 Reply
  7. Oh Sylvie, this recipe makes me even more thrilled for Fall! I adore Minestrone soup, but have never attempted making it myself. I am definitely going to try this recipe out once the weather cools down a little bit – I am sure it will be a hit with my family!

    By the way, Nigella Lawson, what a wonderful person to use as inspiration. I adore her – she’s so classy!! 🙂

    Posted 7.14.10 Reply