It is taking a while but the cold weather is coming and I love it when you can finally ditch the salad and start making warming soups. This soup is comforting and extremely filling, it is jam packed with lots of wonderful veggies to load up on your 5 a day.
1 tsp oil
100g pancetta, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
1.2 litres vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin Borlotti beans, drained
70g spaghetti, broken into small pieces
4 outer leaves of savoy cabbage, shredded
Small bunch of basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
For the croutons
3 slices of crusty white bread
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
To make the croutons, slice the bread (including the crusts) into bite sized cubes and place them in a large bowl, drizzle the oil over the bread and stir to coat. Add the salt, basil and oregano and tumble the cubes around to coat them in the herbs. Give the bread a coating of freshly ground pepper. Place them on a baking tray and pop them in the oven at 180⁰C/ Gas 4 for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove them and allow the croutons to cool.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the pancetta until crisp. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. Then add the celery, carrots and potato and cook for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock and season. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes add the drained beans and spaghetti and carry on cooking for a further 10 minutes, stirring every now and again. When the pasta is cooked and the vegetables are just tender add the shredded cabbage and chopped basil and allow this to soften for a few minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve in bowls with herby croutons sprinkled on top.