This recipe is a great base to adapt to whatever you have in the fridge and is so quick to make. It is great and warming on a winter day and never lasts very long when I cook it!
1 onion, chopped finely
5 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1/2 big fennel bulb (or 1 small fennel bulb), chopped finely
2-3 sticks of celery, chopped finely
2 carrots, chopped finely
2 potatos or a small sweet potato (whichever one you have in your pantry that you want to use up)
4 cups (1 litre) vegetable stock
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tin mixed beans
1 cup small macaroni or any other soup pasta
1. Heat some olive oil in a big soup pot. Add the onion and soften for 2 minutes. Add the fennel and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes until fennel and onion are well aquainted and transparent.
2. Add the rest of the vegies, the tomato paste and the stock and bring to the boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes until vegies are cooked (this will take longer if you have chopped your vegies larger, but that's your own can of beans). Speaking of cans of beans, drain the can of mixed beans now and rinse the beans before adding to the pot with the pasta.
3. Simmer gently until the pasta is cooked and then eat in copious amounts!!
This soup is also great with leeks, peas, pumpkin or anything else you have a little bit left of and want to use up. The last friend I made this for now asks me whether I'm making soup every time she comes over :) It's a very simple but very impressive thing to knock up (not in that way....) for friends!