Minestrone with Macaroni
If you have a food processor, it makes very light work of chopping the vegetables.
But use the pulse button so you don't chop them too small. For a change, you can replace the macaroni with Italian risotto rice. Either way, serve it with lots of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
This recipe is from The Delia Collection: Soup. Serves 4-6
First heat up the butter and oil in a large saucepan, then add the bacon or pancetta and cook this for a minute or two before adding the onion, followed by the celery and carrots and then the tomatoes.
Now stir in the crushed garlic and some salt and pepper, then cover and cook very gently for 20 minutes or so to allow the vegetables to sweat – give it an occasional stir to prevent the vegetables sticking.
Then pour in the stock and bring to the boil and simmer gently (covered) for about 1 hour. To prepare the leeks first take the tough green ends off and throw them out, then make a vertical split about halfway down the centre of each one and clean them by running them under the cold water tap wihile you fan out the layers - this will rid them of any hidden dust and grit. Finely chop them.
When the hour is up, stir the leeks, cabbage, macaroni and tomato puree into the stock and cook, unvoered for a further 10 monutes or until the pasta is cooked.
Finally, stir in the parsley and basil and serve the minestrone in warmed soup bowls, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.