I had been going to make minestrone soup for lunch, but somehow the morning got away from me and it didn't happen. And I hadn't the least idea what to make for supper. And then I thought that a minestrone soup isn't that different to the large vegetable stews I so often make, and what if I made it more stew-like that soup-like..... so I did, and it was really rather delicious. Enough for 4 people.
1/2 cup dried cannelini beans (or 1 400g tin, drained and rinsed)
1 tbs olive oil
A few basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 chilli pepper
1 small parsnip
A chunk of swede (rutabaga)
2 small potatoes
1 courgette (zucchini)
½ punnet mushrooms
1 400g tin tomatoes + ½ tinful boiling water
Salt, pepper, marjoram, oregano, thyme, 1 vegetable "Stock pot"
100g small pasta
Parmesan cheese, to serve.
Soak the beans for several hours, then drain and rinse, and boil in fresh water for about 30 minutes, until cooked. Meanwhile, blitz the garlic, chilli and basil together in a food processor. Then grate the rest of the vegetables, except the mushrooms. As the drum of the food processor gets full (you didn't think I meant you should grate them by hand, did you?), empty it into a heavy-based casserole dish into which you have put the olive oil.
Slice the mushrooms and add them to the vegetables, and finally add the tomatoes, water and seasonings. Stir thoroughly, then bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then add the beans and the pasta, and cook for a further 9-10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.
Serve with masses of Parmesan or other grated cheese.