I brought the Hairy Bikers recipe book a few months back and to be honest I kind of forgot about it, I read it all, made a note of the recipes I liked then stuck it on the bookshelf. I only went back to it last week and since then I’ve been on a bit of mission to make as many Hairy Bikers recipes as possible! There are so many good recipes in the book, almost all of the pages are folded down. This soup was originally a minestrone, but I’ve changed the recipe a bit and swapped the spaghetti for macaroni (I find spaghetti slips off the spoon!) I also added some cannellini beans to bulk it out a bit! This soup comes in at 251 calories.
Ingredients – Serves 6
4 ripe tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1 slender leek trimmed and finely sliced
2 medium courgettes, diced
1.5 litres of chicken stock
120g dry macaroni
1 tbsp tomato puree
200g frozen peas
100g curly kale or green cabbage, thickly shredded
2 x 400g tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
25g parmesan cheese, finely grated
Fresh basil leaves to serve
Freshly ground black pepper
Method – Takes 45 Minutes
1. Make a cross in the bottom of each tomato and put them in a heatproof bowl. Pour over enough just boiled water to cover the tomatoes and leave for 1 minute. If the tomatoes are ripe enough, the skins should shrink back under the hot water. Drain and leave to cool.
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan or saute pan and fry the onion very gently for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured, stirring often. While the onion is cooking, slip the skins off the tomatoes and cut the flesh into quarters. Scoop out the seeds and chuck them out. Cut the tomato flesh into rough 1cm cubes.
3. Add the celery, garlic, leek and courgettes to the pan with the onion. Stir over a low heat for a couple of minutes, then stir in the chopped tomatoes, pour over the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
4. Drop the macaroni into the pan. Add the tomato puree and bring the soup back to the boil, then cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peas, kale or cabbage and cannellini beans, cook for another 5 minutes or until the pasta is just tender, stir through the basil leaves.
5. Season the soup with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan and chilli flakes if you like it spicy! Serve with bread and butter if you are feeling naughty!