There's something very satisfying about conjuring up a tasty meal out of next to nothing, and if you have a scavenge round the bottom of your fridge, you're almost certain to come up with a few veg that have seen better days, or maybe are individually not quite enough to make into a meal. And that's where soups come in. I always think soup is one of those dishes where the sum is greater than the parts - all kinds of unpromising ingredients can be magically transformed when they are made into soup.
I suppose technically this should be called "minestra" rather than minestrone, because there's no bacon or ham in it. Call it what you will, it's a delicious way to clear out the fridge!
You will need (for 4 servings)
1 tbs light olive oil
an assortment of odds and ends of veg - I used a few sprigs each of broccoli and cauliflower, half a dozen green beans, a carrot and a few celery leaves
1 tin chopped tomatoes OR 2-3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbs tomato purée
a sprinkling of fresh or dried herbs - I used oregano and herbes de provence
a handful of small pasta shapes. I used macaroni, but you could use broken spaghetti or those cartoon character shapes the kids pestered for and then wouldn't eat.
grated Parmesan to serve
Finely chop the onion and fry it gently in the oil until soft. As it cooks, start to prepare the other veg, chopping them into spoonable sized pieces and stirring them into the onion as you go. Start with the slowest cooking ones, so in my case the carrots, and add each one to the pot as it is ready, mixing well each time. Stir in the garlic and herbs and mix well.
Now add the tinned tomatoes and two empty tins full of water OR the fresh tomatoes and a litre of water, stir in the tomato purée, taste and season. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring in the pasta 10-15 minutes (check your pasta pack for cooking time) before the end of cooking.
Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan
I'm joining in with No Waste Food Challenge at Elizabeth's Kitchen and Anne's Kitchen
Credit Crunch Munch which this month is hosted by Maison Cupcake with Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All
Extra Veg which this month is hosted by Juggle Mum with Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy Food For Families
No Croutons Required at Lisa's Kitchen with Tinned Tomatoes