For me Autumn is the start of the soup season and from now until Spring I will be getting the ladle out every lunch time to enjoy this ‘souper’ way to eat vegetables. A favourite of mine is Minestrone, which is a perfect way to use any leftover fresh pasta – see my last blog. The addition of pancetta is optional, personally I prefer just vegetables, all neatly cut to fit as many as possible on my spoon. Serve with a generous amount of Parmesan for that authentic Italian touch and if you are feeling extra hungry serve some bread too. To complete my Mediterranean, theme I have served mine with homemade pesto & green olive sourdough rolls……..Buon appetito!
2 large carrots, peeled
1 large onion
3 celery sticks, washed
1 large waxy potato, peeled
15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
100g pancetta (optional)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
30ml (2 tbsp) tomato puree
1.5 litres vegetable or chicken stock
500g carton of passata
Salt & black pepper
400g tinned cannellini or flageolet beans, drained
100g small pasta shapes or broken spaghetti (50g fresh pasta pieces)
75g kale finely shredded
To serve: freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Dice the carrots, onion, celery and potato into small cubes.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, (lightly fry the pancetta if using) and add the carrots, onion, celery, potato and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until softened. Stir in the courgette and cook for a further minute.
- Stir in the tomato puree, passata and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes
- Add the beans and pasta (if dried) and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes, adding the kale (& fresh pasta if using) for the final 2 minutes.
- Check for seasoning and serve in bowls with optional Parmesan grated on top.