After a big weekend away, all I really wanted was to snuggle up with a lovely bowl of hearty homemade soup. On a tight budget, this one worked a treat. When I find a lovely fresh basil pesto, I like to store it in small containers in the freezer for occasions just like this. I had a container of home-made beef stock in the freezer, left over from when I made French Onion Soup a few weeks ago. I think it makes all the difference, and chose to make this soup specifically because I had it in the freezer, but you could use some bought stock if you really wanted to. I was going to use dried beans, but by the time I got to the shops to get my vegetables, I realised it was too late in the day to use dried beans. So I simply used a good ol’ tin of four bean mix.
|420||gram can||Four bean mix|
|400||gram can||Crushed/chopped tomato|
|1/2||teaspoon||Smoked sea salt|
Drizzle a little olive oil in a very large saucepan and place on a low/medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sweating and cooking till translucent with a tiny bit of colour. Add the celery and sweat a little more. Add the carrot, parsnip, turnip, swede, potato, four bean mix, beef stock, red wine, tomato and bay leaves. Fill the tomato can with water and tip the tomatoey contents into the saucepan. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for at least 30 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Increase the heat, to a steady boil and add the macaroni, cook for a further 15 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil (chilli oil if you’re that way inclined) and the finely chopped leaves of one of the celery stalks.
Serve with a slice of toast generously spread with basil pesto.