Continuing National Soup Month on Tasty Tuesdays, we have a delicious
MINESTRONE SOUP from Vonnie Hughes who says this soup tastes great and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Vonnie’s from New Zealand, so some of her ingredients are named differently than those in America. I’m not sure what she means by 3 TBSP of spaghetti, unless she’s talking about a smaller pasta like orzo (which has a shape similar to rice), occhi di pernice (small pasta rings) or conchigliette (small shell-shaped pasta). I also had to look up haricot beans. It’s another name for Navy beans. You could probably substitute any small white bean for the haricot bean, but I do notice a taste difference in the various beans. It’s not an issue for me as I haven’t met a bean I don’t like. As for gravy beef, I’m guessing ground beef would be a good substitute for us American cooks.
We’ve been having some cold days here, so I’m ready for a hot pot of soup.
1 tbsp. butter
4 slices bacon, chopped or ½ lb. gravy beef, minced/ground
1 onion, chopped
½ lb. fresh tomatoes or 1 jar/can, chopped
1 carrot, scraped and chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery or other seasonal vegetable, chopped
½ cup haricot beans that have been soaked overnight
3 tbsp. macaroni
3 tbsp. rice
3 tbsp. spaghetti
½ tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
Melt butter in a frying pan. Add bacon or meat and fry until crisp. Stir in onion and tomatoes.
Carefully pour mixture into a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Fill pot halfway with water. Stir in remaining ingredients.
Cook 2 hours in slow cooker or 15 minutes in pressure cooker.
Here’s a little from my latest romantic suspense. I hope you enjoy it.
Who can you trust if you can’t trust your own mother? Through the clammy fog, Celie Francis hears the chilling message. “I know who you are, Celie. I know where you live.” And in the terrifying aftermath she reconnects with her dysfunctional family in ways she had never imagined.
Abused and abandoned as a child, Célie Francis knows better than to trust anyone. But after she witnesses a murder, she’s placed in the Unit “New Zealand’s witness protection program” where she’s expected to trust strangers with her life.
It’s psychologist Brand Turner’s job to ease witnesses into their new identities, not to protect them, but Célie stirs feelings in him that are far from professional. When it appears someone is leaking critical information that could endanger Célie, Brand will do anything to protect her. But first he has to convince her to trust him.
Adrift in a frightening world, Célie would like to believe the handsome psychologist is everything he seems, but as witnesses are murdered and danger swirls around them, Célie must decide “can she trust Brand with her life?
Vonnie Hughes is a multi-published author in both Regency books and contemporary suspense. She loves the intricacies of the social rules of the Regency period and the far-ranging consequences of the Napoleonic Code. And with suspense she has free rein to explore forensic matters and the strong convolutions of the human mind. Like many writers, some days she hates the whole process, but somehow she just cannot let it go.
Vonnie was born in New Zealand, but she and her husband now live happily in Australia. If you visit Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand be sure to stroll through the Japanese Garden. These is a bronze plaque engraved with a haiku describing the peacefulness of that environment. The poem was written by Vonnie.