I was craving this today. Warming and packed with veggies, perfect as the days are getting colder and our immune systems take a hit.
There is a fair bit of chopping involved with this (as goes with many dishes incorporating a lot of vegetables) however I must admit I find this to be quite a therapeutic activity, when time allows.
Approximately 1.5 hours to prep and cook
1 x white onion, diced
2 x garlic cloves, crushed
1 x chilli (I used a green finger chilli), finely sliced
1 x leek, finely sliced
1 x fennel bulb, finely sliced
2 x carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm circles
200g plum tomatoes, sliced in half
2 large handfuls of spinach
Store cupboard ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp mixed herbs
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can borlotti beans
750ml hot vegetable stock
Fresh thyme leaves (optional to garnish)
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onion to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli and mixed herbs and continue to fry for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the chopped leek, fennel, carrot and halved plum tomatoes. Stir well to combine, continuing to stir for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables have cooked down slightly.
3. Add the stock, tomato puree and tin of chopped tomatoes. Lower the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for 30 minutes (covered).
4. Add the macaroni and cook for a further 10 minutes. In the final 5 minutes of cooking add the borlotti beans to warm through and the spinach to wilt. Check the pasta is al dente and the vegetables are cooked before serving and add any seasoning as necessary.
5. Serve the soup in warmed bowls with a garnish of fresh thyme, if you like.