Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
3 teaspoons pesto, plus extra to serve
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
100 g (3½ oz) broccoli, cut into small florets, stems sliced
150 g (5 oz) courgettes, diced
100 g (3½ oz) frozen green soya beans
65 g (2½ oz) small pasta shapes
50 g (2 oz) spinach, shredded
salt and pepper
handful of basil leaves, to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, stock, pesto, lemon rind and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Read also: SQUASH, KALE AND MIXED BEAN SOUP
Add the broccoli, courgettes, soya beans and pasta shapes and simmer for 6 minutes. Add the spinach and lemon juice and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the spinach has just wilted and the pasta is al dente.
Ladle into bowls, top with extra spoonfuls of pesto and sprinkle with basil leaves. Serve with warm olive or sundried tomato focaccia or ciabatta bread or Parmesan thins (see below).
For homemade Parmesan thins, to serve as an accompaniment, line a baking sheet with nonstick baking paper, then sprinkle 100 g (3½ oz) grated Parmesan cheese into 18 well-spaced mounds. Cook in a preheated oven, 190°C (375°F), Gas Mark 5, for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is just beginning to brown. Leave to cool and harden, then peel off the paper and serve on the side with the soup.