This is another of the recipes that I made for a photo shoot with my friend, Steve. It’s the perfect balance of flavours, packed full of vegetables and super yummy! I generally double or triple the recipe, package in 250 ml containers, then freeze for easy lunch and dinner portions. Add any variety of vegetables, pasta (I actually don’t put it in all the time) and greens (I’ve been using kale). Most of the time I omit the leek and add more onion.
4 rashers of bacon or 4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, medium dice
1 leek, large dice
1 carrot, large dice
1 stalk celery, large dice
2/3 cup cabbage, large dice
3 bay leaves
2 oz. tomato paste
1 medium potato, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. canned plum tomatoes, sliced
6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock, hot
2 oz. red kidney beans (pinto, black, navy, or any variety you prefer)
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp rosemary, fresh chopped
1 Tbsp basil, fresh chopped
1 Tbsp oregano, fresh chopped
1 cup spinach, washed (or any hearty green)
2 oz. conchiglie or any small shaped pasta
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, garnish
Sauté bacon or heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and sweat until translucent. Add leek, carrot, celery, cabbage and bay leaves and continue to sweat until the vegetables are soft.
Add tomato paste and cook until it becomes a bright red. Add potato and sweat a few minutes more. Add garlic and stir until you can smell it. Add plum tomatoes and hot stock.
Bring to a boil and skim if necessary. Add beans and peppercorns and simmer for 40 minutes. Add pasta and simmer 5 minutes more. Turn off heat. Add fresh herbs, spinach. Serve garnished with freshly grated parmesan on top.
(Note: if you’re freezing this soup or serving the next day, you may choose to add the spinach and pasta when reheating.)