Mixed bean and pasta soup
Comfort food for vegetarians
A hearty, warming and nutritious soup, delicious for vegetarians and meateaters. The original recipe uses chicken stock, but I have substituted it for vegetable stock flavored with mild chili and cilantro. A soup that's just right when the summer is fading away!
olive oil (1 tbsp)
2 cloves of garlic
can of mixed beans*
1 pint vegetable stock
hot chili powder (1 tsp)
pasta shells (conchigliette) 50-75g
chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) to garnish
* I used a can of mixed beans in mild chili sauce (available from most supermarkets) - the beans included are red kidney beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, borlotti beans and black-eyed beans.
You can use whichever dried beans you like - just make sure you soak them overnight and drain them before use. You can also omit the chili if you desire.
Cooking the onions
And the garlic
Add the olive oil to a hot pan, and then finely chop the onion. Add the onion to the pan and fry until for 5 minutes until softened.
Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic and continue to stir gently and fry for a further 1 miinute.
Adding the beans
And the vegetable stock
Add the mixed beans and chili powder (if you're using it), followed by the vegetable stock.
Stir to mix the ingredients, then cover the pan and bring to the boil.
Adding the pasta
Add the dried pasta shells to the pan and stir them into the other ingredients. Cook until the pasta is al dente and then stir in the chopped fresh cilantro (coriander).
Season with salt and ground black pepper, and serve with crusty bread. Delicious!