Minestrone Soup SERVES 4
2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle (optional)
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 celery stick, trimmed and chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
Few sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
80g smoked back bacon, trim fat & chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 x 400g tin of borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
600-800ml chicken stock or water
75g spaghetti, broken into small pieces
Large handful of basil, finely shredded
Parmesan, for grating (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions, carrots, celery and some seasoning. Stir over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the thyme, bay leaf and bacon. Increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another minute.
Tip in the borlotti beans & then pour in the chicken stock or water to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes.
To serve, ladle into warm soup bowls and scatter over the shredded basil. If you wish, add a restrained drizzle of olive oil and grate a little Parmesan over each portion. Serve with chunks of rustic country bread