April 19, 2012

The Tale of Curly Parsley (A Children's Rhyme) and a Recipe for Italian Spring Minestrone with Parsley Pesto

Back when I was in high school, a certain cookbook wandered into my life and never left. A review on the cover of this book calls it "the most useful cookbook of all time." It's really not an overstatement. 

Roast Chicken and Other Stories, the endlessly useful cookbook by British cookbook writer Simon Hopkinson, is filled with some of the most simple, useful, and satisfying recipes I have ever come across. If I ever started one of those blogs where I cooked my way through every recipe in a cookbook, this would be the one. He fills the pages with his personal favorite recipes, like Onion Tart, Baked Rice Pudding, Scallops Bercy, and Omelette Arnold Bennett (complete with smoked haddock, bechamel sauce, hollandaise sauce and heavy cream). 

He divides the cookbook by ingredient (anchovies, chicken, chocolate, custard, kidneys, onions, scallops, tomatoes, etc.) and introduces each ingredient with a little story or anecdote. His introduction to the parsley section, a story from his childhood, stuck with me in particular. It's the tale of how parsley came to be curly.

For whatever reason, while I was in high school, I decided to make this story into a children's rhyme. I've never done anything with it until now, but decided this was the time to debut it. So here it is. 

And below is a recipe for an Italian minestrone soup with spring vegetables, topped with fresh and fragrant parsley pesto. It's from the talented and adventurous Italian nonna and chef Benedetta Vitali who has a restaurant in Florence. It's a terrific soup - my go-to soup recipe. I think you'll enjoy it.


The Tale of Curly Parsley

Miss Tolly-Tappernill was her name,
She lived in a cottage on Leafy Lane,
Daily to her garden she did tend,
To her it was a cherished friend. 

For here the fairies did reside,
Each in a flower, side by side,
And pixies would often visit too,
They played in shrubs, which also grew.

She loved her garden very dear,
So yearly flowers did appear,
Lavender, daisies and hollyhocks,
Marigolds, lupins and forget-me-nots. 

The fairies liked her quite a lot,
So disappoint them, she did not,
She fed them berries from a tree,
And they were as happy as could be.

But as time does, it came to pass,
Miss Tolly-Tappernill died at last,
Her cottage on the market sold,
To city folks – big, brash and bold. 

They picked the flowers, one by one,
The fairies soon were on the run,
Their blossom-homes now good and gone,
They sang a sad and sorry song. 

In the garden, new plants came about,
Oh no – soon vegetables were beginning to sprout! 
Carrots, cabbage and collard greens,
Cucumbers, capers, and kidney beans. 

The city folk planted vegetables all around,
In old clay pots and in the ground,
The planting they did was not done sparsely,
And worst of all – they planted PARSLEY!

The fairies now were quite dismayed,
For parsley grew where they once played,
The pixies were upset as well,
And so they thought: “We must rebel!” 

So late one night, the moon was out,
The fairies and pixies came about,
In a fist the parsley they did clinch,
And to its leaves went pinch, pinch, pinch

They pinched it all throughout the night,
And in the morning did take flight,
And as I think you know see, surely,
That’s how parsley got to be curly!


Italian Spring Minestrone with Parsley Pesto
Serves 8

-1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
-1 red onion, minced
-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
-2 stalks celery, minced
-1/4 head savoy or napa cabbage, cut into thin strips
-2 leeks, green tops removed, sliced and washed
-2 zucchini, cubed
-3 large boiling potatoes, cubed
-1 can white cannellini beans
-1 cup grated parmesan cheese, grated
-1 cup parsley pesto (recipe below) 

1. In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and saute for about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, leeks, zucchini, potatoes, and beans. Cover the ingredients in the stockpot with water, add a large pinch of salt, and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes, covered. Stir periodically.

2. After 20 minutes, begin checking the vegetables for doneness. They should be soft but not mushy. Add more salt and pepper. When the vegetables are ready, remove half of the contents to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add back into the rest of the soup and stir to combine. Mix in 2 tablespoons of the parsley pesto. 

3. To serve, place the soup in bowls and top with a dollop of parsley pesto, some grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy! 

Parsley Pesto
Makes about 1 cup

-leaves of 1 large bunch Italian (not curly!) parsley
-1 clove garlic
-2 tablespoons pinenuts
-3/4 cup olive oil
-juice of 1 lemon
-1/3 cup tablespoons parmigiano cheese, grated
-salt and pepper to taste

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic and pinenuts. Slowly add the olive oil with the processor running. Add the lemon and cheese, pulse briefly, and season with salt and pepper. 


  1. Shopping for inspired handbags can be a lot of prada replica fun if you know where to shop. One of the most popular places to shop these days is the Internet. Surprisingly, the Internet has caused a boom in the handbag industry. Of course, replica and inspired handbags fall into that same class. When you shop online for your designer or replica handbag needs, you should always check for the reputation of the company or person you are purchasing from before you buy. There are a lot of horror stories on the Internet. Of course, you can choose to find your designer replica handbags a little closer to home with any number of those specialty stores that are ready to meet your every need. Angle Tingen has been in the fashion industry for more than 15 years and most recently taken up interest in freelance writing in online fashion websites. If you have a retail store, internet store, or if you are an entrepreneur or just a consumer looking for authentic designer handbags at wholesale prices, The "Italian Designer Handbags Wholesale Sources" is the directory you need.It is a well known fact that designer handbags are extremely popular and that you can also make a ton of rolex replica money if you can find the perfect source to get them at real wholesale prices. However, you are also aware that finding legitimate wholesalers of designer handbags is not easy and very hard to get, to say the least. There are hundreds of suppliers in the internet who claim they have them but unfortunately this is not the case. If you have spent time all over the internet then you probably know that there are scam artists out there that claim to have the real authentic handbags that you want. They guarantee that they will supply you with authentic designer handbags but when you purchase from them, you get ripped off by receiving replicas or fakes. In addition, there are a lot of designer handbag wholesale lists or directories out there that promise you that they have the real suppliers that you need. Unfortunately, they are not worth the paper that they are written on. When you start looking at their contacts, you find out that they include the same companies that ripped you off and took you hard earned money. These worthless lists and directories are being sold by the same suppliers that take your money and many of them are being sold by the same company under different names. If you are in search of Real Italian Designer Handbags Sources, then you have come to the right place. Make the right decision by getting this Brand New 2009 Directory. It will save you a lot of hublot replica time, headaches and money.

  2. A abundant accord in the after watches came able with the fly aback purpose, moon phase, and a date show. Breitling watches had been advanced of their time aural the watch globe. Its no admiration that humans today bent on to their avant-garde and different styles. And now, the chanel replica angle accurate to their name. They accept a adventuresome appointment and designs akin with avant-garde features.Breitling Hercules Montres Breitling Navitimer replica watches from www.Montresen.com would accomplish an absurd ???Santa gift’ for that adolescent son Montres Hublot Big Bang or nephew central of your life. Do you apperceive of anyone that does? replica handbagsThese watches will not be alone innovative, but they may be beautiful as nicely. With their stainless animate appearance and blemish aught amount sapphires, these watches are absurd to the appearance acquainted man. Just anticipate his face on Xmas day if he receives a replica watches view! He will acknowledge you over and added than for it. And you aswell dont accept to acquaint him that its a replica. With its attributes and craftsmanship, he wont even acquaint the distinction! Just accustomed that these are reproduction breitling replica doesnt beggarly they abridgement on quality. These abiding watches are admirable for that alive man on the go.Breitling accept had a continued actual affiliation application the air industry, both aggressive and civilian. If Breitling was aboriginal accustomed its above business affair was breeding absolute counters for anniversary accurate and automated use. Its specialized ability of breeding attention timepieces congenital it a watchmaker that will be in appeal in the then, fledging aerodynamics industry. The accord amid aerodynamics and Breitling watches was clearly accustomed when, in 1936, the British Royal Air Force issued Breitling watches to its aircrews.

  3. Many Thanks for the shared this informative and interesting post with me.

    Game For Christmas
    Defly 2020