2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2-3 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 courgettes (zucchini), chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
28oz tin of chopped tomatoes (or 2 x 400g tins)
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt & pepper
2-3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese, finely grated to serve
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)
Heat the oil in a large pan then add the onion, carrots and celery and saute for roughly 15 minutes until tender. Add the garlic, courgettes (zucchini) and peppers and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring everything well together. I tend to puree my chopped tomatoes (hubby doesn't like tomatoes!) but you can add them as they are if you prefer – either way works. Add the tomatoes – chopped or pureed – to the vegetables along with the tomato puree, cannellini beans, stock, sugar (if using) and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer and leave for 15 minutes until the vegetables are all tender.
Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of fresh parsley and the parmesan cheese. Delicious, hearty and super healthy!
*To make it more substantial add 140g/ 5oz of small pasta shapes of your choice for the last 6 - 8 minutes of cooking. You will also need to add an extra 250ml stock to the soup to make up for the amount the pasta will absorb.