This is a very easy recipe and was shown it by my Italian friend, Silvana, who is the best cook
that I have met. She used to look after our oldest child, Sian, when I worked. Every night I used to call round and hang around her kitchen watching what she was doing and asking questions. She is quite old now and cooks less but I still watch everything she makes with enthusiasm.
About 1 litre chicken stock [see below]
1 tblsp oil
1 onion chopped
1 carrot diced
1 handful French beans cut into 1 c pieces
1 stick celery sliced
1 potato diced
3 or 4 leaves Savoy cabbage shredded [or try frozen]
1 leek chopped
I tin beans - borlotti, flagelet, cannelini etc
1 handful green lentils washed
1 heaped tbsp tiny pasta shapes eg stelfini [or smashed up spaghetti]
- Saute the onion in the oil just to soften it but not brown.
- Add the stock and all the other vegetables and bring to the boil.
- When boiling, add the beans and lentils and bring back to boil
- Bring back to boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes
- Add the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes. Test to see whether the vegetables are soft enough, paying attention to the lentils.
- Serve with finely grated Parmesan sprinkled on top.
About the stock - Fresh chicken stock is best, although you could use a chicken stock cube. Alternatively, if you do not have any fresh, you can make it very easily. Bring 8 chicken wings in a litre of water o the boil with a little salt and a bunch of herbs including thyme, oregano, sage, bay, parsley or rosemary. Turn to a simmer until they are very soft. Take the wings out and dry them and strain the liquor. That is your stock. Fry or grill the wings and serve on a dish with the soup.