Friday Food :Charlotte George’s Mama’s minestrone

By Charlotte George

To clarify: my mother uses dried pulses etc and soaks them overnight. I can’t be arsed and I’m never that prepared, so I use the tinned kind!

Prep/cooking time = 50+ mins
Difficulty = 2

1 can tomatoes
1 can lentils
2 can beans (kidney beans and/or mixed)
1 stick celery (optional) finely chopped
2 carrots sliced
1 L vege stock
Dash of red wine
200 g pasta
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
Herbs – basil, bay leaves

Fry chopped onion in some olive oil in a large pot. After a minute, add crushed garlic. Then celery.

Throw in the carrots. After another few minutes (don’t you love the precision of my recipes??) put in the tin of tomatoes and the rinsed beans and lentils. Add the vege stock (for 1 L water put in 2 stock cubes) along with wine, 2 bay leaves and a handful of chopped basil or parsley. Maybe a pinch of chilli or paprika if you like that kind of thing.

Now we wait. Put the stove on low heat and check every now and then. After approx 30 mins add the pasta. Soup is done approx 10 mins after you add pasta.

You might need to add more water throughout the process. And if you keep some leftovers in the fridge, be warned that the pasta sucks up a lot of the juice, so to reheat I would add another cup or so of water before putting in microwave/on stove.

Serve with crunchy bread and possibly grated Parmesan. Feeds 6 (at a cost of £4-5!)

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