Quick minestrone soup
Packed full of nutritious veggies, this soup is basically vitamins in a bowl! Based on the classic Italian minestrone, I have included borlotti beans and pastina (small pasta shapes). If you prefer, you could omit the pastina. In fact, you could omit any vegetable you don’t like or don’t have and replace with others. Most of these vegetables can be bought pre-washed and chopped, saving you time. For added flavour, you could serve with a dollop of pesto sauce.
Cooking time: 35 minutes (not including veg preparation)
Portions: serves 4-6
Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan set over a medium–high heat. Add the onion and celery and sweat for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots, fennel, courgette, potato, cabbage, tomatoes and basil, and mix well. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the borlotti beans, peas and pasta and continue to cook for about 6–8 minutes, until the pasta is cooked (check cooking times on the packet). Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with grated Parmesan and a dollop of pesto, if desired.