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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Autumn is soup time!

Contrary to the recipe below I actually added some carrot to this batch because I had some nice organic ones in the fridge

When I was growing up there always seemed to be a pot of vegetable soup simmering on the stove. It was always the same recipe, a scotch broth-style soup made by boiling a lamb shank with onions, carrots, celery and barley. Although I still like the rib-stickingness of that recipe I tend to make a lighter version of soup for my family. Our current favourite is an Italian-style vegetable soup with beans and pasta. We usually serve it with pesto (or basil leaves) and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and there are often requests for 'seconds'.

Italian bean and pasta soup

1 leek, washed and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1.5 litres reduced salt chicken stock (homemade if you have it)
400g tin of four bean mix, drained and rinsed
90g small soup pasta
200g green vegetables (broccoli florets or beans or peas)

1. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add leek, celery and garlic and cook until softened.

2. Add four bean mix and tomato paste mixed with stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes if you will be eating soup straight away (if not see warning below!)

4. Add green vegetables and cook for another few minutes until vegetables are tender.

5. Garnish with a small spoonful of pesto and a spinkling of parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.

Warning: word to the wise, if you think you will have left-over soup then cook pasta separately and add when serving. Why? Because if you leave the soup standing on the stove or in the fridge for any length of time the pasta will absorb the soup leaving you with a lovely bowl of pasta but no soup!


  1. This sounds delicious, I love the idea of adding pesto.......real comfort food...

  2. On looking at the recipe again I think it is probably closer to the French Soup au Pistou but either way it is very moreish!