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This is a basic but lovely vegetable soup – it’s jam-packed fully of goodness and will do anyone who eats it the world of good! You can either keep it hearty and chunky or you can cook the soup without the pasta in it, whiz it up in a blender, pour it back in the saucepan with some pasta and cook until the pasta is soft. Delicious!

JAMIE'S TOP TIP

  • Soup is a great way to make the most of seasonal produce – vary your choices throughout the year and stock up on what’s in season.
  • Make up a big batch of soup, even if you’re only cooking for yourself – you can keep the rest in the fridge for light suppers, packed lunches, and even freeze portions in sandwich bags to eat another day.
  • Save the rinds from your Parmesan cheese and pop into your soup for some extra flavor, just remember to remove before serving – those little piece of rind that you’d normally throw away are super tasty and not to be wasted.
  • This soup is great for using up any odds and ends of pasta – bash up any big pieces up so they cook a bit quicker.

METHOD

  • Heat a large pot over a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil. Throw in the bacon and fry it gently until it starts to turn brown and smell fantastic. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, leek, oregano and bay leaf and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened.
  • Add the tomatoes, potato, chick peas and vegetable broth, then cover with a lid and bring everything slowly to the boil. Simmer for about 30 minutes, then check (with the tip of a paring knife) that the potato is soft and cooked through.
  • After that, add the kale and pasta, and cook for 10 more minutes, until the pasta is cooked. If the soup is too thick for you after cooking the pasta, thin it with a little more broth or water.
  • The basil is optional but I think it is a nice little addition. If you decide to use it, stir some chopped leaves into the soup. Finish by seasoning with a little salt and black pepper and pass the Parmesan around the table for people to sprinkle on their soup.

MORE INFORMATION

Serving suggestions: A nice crusty roll is just about all you need to turn this into a delicious meal.

Tips from the dietitian: Read the label on your vegetable, chicken and beef broth – they can be very high in sodium so look for low sodium broth or better yet, make your own from scratch. If you don’t like garbanzo beans, substitute them for any of your favorite beans; beans are packed with fiber so they keep you fuller for longer and also add some protein to your meal. Look for low sodium or no salt added beans to lower the sodium in this recipe. This soup is a delicious way to get a variety of veggies into your diet and will help you meet your quota of 5 to 9 servings a day.

Food Safety: Before you wash your vegetables in the sink, make sure it’s clean. It’s important to wash your vegetables before you cook them to ensure there is no grit or dirt getting into your food.

hServes 8

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 strips bacon, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, washed and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 small leek, washed and chopped
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 x 13.5 ounce cans chopped plum tomatoes
1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
1 x 15.5 ounce can garbanzo, drained and rinsed
4 cups (1-quart container) low-sodium vegetable broth
Large handful curly kale, stalks removed, chopped
½ cup mixed small pasta shapes a bunch of basil (optional) 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
large pinch freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese; optional

EQUIPMENT LIST

Large pot
Large knife
Paring knife
Cutting board
Measuring spoons
Measuring cups
Liquid measuring cup
Large spoon