1 large leek (thinly sliced)
2 carrots (chopped)
115 g green beans (halved)
2 celery sticks (thinly sliced)
45 mL (3 tablespoons) olive oil
1.5 litres vegetable stock
400 g can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped) or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
400 g can red kidney beans
50 g small pasta shapes (little cones look attractive)
Freshly ground pepper - Most purchased stock is salty enough!
1. Put leek, carrots, beans and celery into a large saucepan together with the olive oil. Heat until the oil is sizzling then reduce heat to very low, cover and cook, shaking the pan frequently to avoid sticking for about 15 minutes..
2. Add stock, chopped tomatoes, basil, thyme and black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and allow to just simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
3. Add the kidney beans together with their can juices and mix thoroughly, being careful not to break up the beans. Add the pasta shapes and bring the mixture up to the boil again. Then reduce heat and simmer for a further 8 - 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente (tender but still firm to the bite).
4. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired, or garnish with chopped parsley or chives.
5. Serve immediately.
1. The flavour is actually enhanced by keeping in the fridge until the next day.