Red soup with pasta I hear you cry, what is that?  Minestrone to you and I.  We used to call it red soup with pasta when the boys were toddlers.  It was the only way one of them would eat it!

I’ve just made it for lunch today with the majority of the vegetables used coming from the garden. Leeks, potatoes, courgette, red kale, garlic, fresh thyme, peas and broad beans – the peas and beans had been previously harvested and frozen.  Additional extras which weren’t from the garden included the onion, celery and carrot plus stock leftover from boiling a ham, tinned tomatoes, pasta and water.  We don’t have a recipe for this particular soup, we just make it up as we go along.  My husband first invented it and we use whatever vegetables we have to hand and usually throw in a tin of cannellini beans to.  We didn’t today as the soup was overflowing with fresh veg.  If you do use them, add them near the end as they only need to warm through.

The vegetables are added in several stages as there is nothing worse than soggy courgette or over cooked cabbage.  We also like the vegetables to have a little bit of a bite!  Here is a rough idea how we make our soup………..

Ingredients – one onion, one celery stalk, two leeks, one elephant garlic clove, one large carrot, one large potato, large thyme sprig, one courgette, handful of peas, handful of broad beans, handful of kale, 400g tin of tomatoes, handful or two of pasta, water, stock and seasoning.

Finely chop the celery, onion, leek, garlic and carrot and saute in a little olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the potato, stock, large thyme sprig and tinned tomatoes.  Stir thoroughly, add extra water if necessary, cover and bring to the boil.  Simmer for approx 10 minutes before adding the pasta.  We used a handful of spaghetti that has been snapped into bite sized pieces.  However, any pasta will do.  After a further 10 minutes add the peas, beans and courgette and cook until slightly tender before adding the kale which has been shredded.  Taste and season if necessary.  As I had used ham stock no additional salt was needed.  You can also add tomato puree when adding the tomatoes and fresh stock doesn’t have to be used.  Stock cubes work just as well.  You just need enough liquid for approximately six bowls.  Next time I make it I will try and remember to measure everything!

I wonder how many of our five-a-day we’ve just eaten!