Winter will just not relieve its grip here. Despite the fact that next week is the Spring solstice we were back to negative temperatures last week. It has warmed up slightly this weekend, but we are apparently returning to arctic temperatures again next week.
So, in consideration of a cold Saturday evening at home, and coupled with my current task of eating through all of the staples in my pantry*, I decided to make a warming winter soup for supper last night. (* This is turning in to somewhat of an experiment as I am testing the reality of 'best-before' dates...so far, eating tinned food stuffs dating back to 2010 has been risk-free...yes, it has been this long since I properly cleaned out my pantry. Hence, my determination to get through the staples before re-stocking).
Anyway, back to the soup. This is a recipe I originally collected 15 years ago when I lived in Glasgow (I think it probably came from the UK Good Food magazine). I used to make it quite a lot but hadn't made it in years. So, when I was I thinking of a recipe that would use up some circa 2011 white beans and some end of packet wholewheat pasta, this came to mind.
Pasta and Bean Soup (serves 6)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
400g can borlotti beans (I used cannellini beans as that was what was in the pantry)
55g small pasta shapes
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (1 tsp if using dried)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
600ml bottle passata
600ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
parmesan cheese to serve
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary and garlic for 10 mins until soft (I add the garlic towards the end so that it doesn't burn).
2. Add the passata, vegetable stock and beans to the pan and bring to the boil.
3. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Stir in the pasta shapes and parsley, add seasoning to taste.
5. Return to a low simmer, cover again, and cook for a further 10 mins or until the pasta is cooked.
6. Spoon the soup into individual serving bowls, and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
(I also added a couple of rashers of diced bacon in to step one...I'm clearing out my very small freezer as well!)
Served with a slice of wholemeal bread it was the perfect supper for a cold and wet evening at home....and it was as tasty as I remember...
...which is just as well really, as I will now be eating the leftovers all week (only the small tubs in the picture above will actually fit in my minuscule UK freezer)...