This warming wintry Italian vegetable soup is packed with hearty vegetables making it a a meal within itself.
2 each of onions and carrots, chopped
4 sticks celery, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 bay leaves
few sprigs thyme
3 courgettes, chopped
400g can butter beans, drained
400g can chopped tomatoes
1.2 litres/2 pints vegetable stock
100g/4oz Parmesan or vegetarian equivalent, grated
140g/5oz small pasta shapes small bunch basil, shredded
Gently cook the onion, carrots and celery in the oil in a large saucepan for 20 mins, until soft. Splash in water if they stick. Add the sugar, garlic, purée, herbs and courgettes and cook for 4-5 mins on a medium heat until they brown a little.
Pour in the beans, tomatoes and stock, then simmer for 20 mins. If you’re freezing it, cool and do so now. If not, add half the Parmesan and the pasta and simmer for 6-8 mins until pasta cooked. Sprinkle with basil and remaining Parmesan to serve. If frozen, defrost then re-heat before adding pasta and cheese and continuing as above.