BY ANTONIA HARALAMBIS
This is truly a one pot dish and well worth all the prep time and chopping. Everyone in the family loves this and it's so perfect for right now! This recipe is based on one from an elderly Italian 'Nonna' from Leichardt who grew all the veggies in her own garden. I have tweaked it a bit and thrown in large chunks of parmesan rind to give it that extra bit of deliciousness.
And if you want to make it a bit posh, add grated truffled pecorino and a dollop of good pesto just before serving.
- 80ml olive oil
- 1 ½ litres of good chicken stock
- 1 litre of good beef stock (or just use more chicken stock)
- 250g macaroni or short pasta
- 2 x 420g tins of 4 Bean Mix (chickpeas, red kidney, lima and butter beans) or whatever you have in the cupboard
- 3 large pieces of parmesan rind
- 200g pancetta roughly diced
- 3 stalks of celery and leaves chopped
- 3 zucchini roughly diced
- 3 medium carrots roughly diced
- 3 large garlic cloves crushed 2 medium Spanish onion roughly chopped
- ½ head of cauliflower roughly chopped
- ½ savoy cabbage roughly diced
- 1 choko peeled and roughly diced
- 1 medium potato roughly diced
- 1 large sweet potato roughly diced
- 1 turnip roughly diced
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 bunch of spinach washed and stalks chopped –(keep stalks separate from leaves)
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 750ml jar of tomato passato
- 2 x tins of diced peeled tomatoes
- 2 tabs tomato paste
- Generous quantity of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tabs flaked salt
- To serve : a dollop of fresh pesto and grated truffled pecorino
Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat, then add pancetta, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, both potatoes, turnip and bay leaf, cook stirring so the veggies don’t catch for 10 mins.
Add cabbage, salt, pepper, and cook, stirring for another 5mins until vegetables are softened.
Then add both stocks, parmesan rind, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and passata, cauliflower, zucchini, and choko.
Bring to a simmer and cook for another 15mins. Stir in pasta, 4 bean mix and spinach stalks, increase heat to medium and cook pasta for 10mins.
At this point you may need to check seasoning and add another 2 cups of water, depending on how thick you like your soup.
Lastly stir through spinach leaves and chopped parsley, allow to sit for 5 mins.
Serve with a dollop of pesto and freshly grated truffled pecorino and a glass of good Italian red!