Simple soups make easy starters and quick lunches. This also makes a quick and easy meal if you serve it with bread and a green salad. It’s what they call a hearty soup!
4 streaky bacon rashers or pancetta, cut into strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek washed, tough green parts removed and sliced finely
1 carrot, cut in thin batons
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips (optional)
1 tin of cannellini or kidney beans (200g), drained and rinsed
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée or 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
10 leaves fresh basil
50g uncooked pasta, any small shapes
1. Fry the bacon in half the olive oil until crispy or fry the pancetta without oil. Reserve.
2. Cook the leeks and carrots until soft in a saucepan with the rest of the olive oil (for about ten minutes). If you are using pancetta use the rendered oil from the pan.
3. Add the beans, chicken stock, tomato purée, half the basil and pasta. Bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat until the pasta is cooked.
4. Add the rest of the basil, serve in bowls, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and top with the bacon or pancetta.
MORE FROM THE GREATFOOD ITALIAN KITCHEN
Tortellini and Vegetable Soup
Borlotti Beans with Tomato, Thyme and Parmesan
Lamb Minestrone Soup
Potato, Pancetta, Taleggio and Semi-dried Tomato Gratin
Pancetta, tomato and chilli pasta
Spaghetti with chicken, cherry tomatoes and basil
Spaghetti con le Vongole
Penne with Roast Vegetables
Spaghetti with Radicchio and Ricotta
Proscuitto di San Danielle with Mozzarella and Tomatoes
Penne with Pachino Tomato and Anchovy Sauce
Poor Man’s Porchetta
Penne with Sausage and Chilli
Orzo with Chicken, Peas, Parmesan and Mint
Equipment for the Italian kitchen
What you need to know about pasta
How to use up Cooked Pasta and Create Resistant Starch
How to cook with pancetta
How to cook with Fregola or Fregula
Garlic and Rosemary Seasoning Salt
How to buy good quality tinned tomatoes
Why you need to clean clams to remove sand