For me winter = soup. This super easy recipe will fill your stomach with happiness. I made a “deconstructed” pesto to add some crunch and extra texture to the dish. If you want a thicker soup you can purée half of it.
Sea salt & black pepper
700g vegetable soup mix (Woolworths)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp xylitol
1 tin Italian chopped tomatoes
1 litre boiling stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 heaped tbsp grated Parmesan
1 bunch fresh basil
For the pesto:
1 heaped tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp pine nuts
5 rashes streaky smoked bacon, roughly sliced (optional)
Serves 5-6 people
Preparation 6 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
Boil the kettle and get all your ingredients ready.
Place a large heavy based pot on high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the soup mix and garlic for 10 minutes. This will caramelize them and add depth to your meal. Season with salt and pepper.
Then add the tomato paste and sugar and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, stock, grated parmesan and half of the fresh basil (tear it a bit to release the flavours) and a generous crack of black pepper. Put the lid on, turn down the heat and cook for 50 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.
When the soup has 5 minutes left, roughly chop the rest of the basil and grate the parmesan, chuck into a small bowl. Then place two pans on high heat. Toast the pine nuts until golden, be careful not to burn- watch them like a hawk! Fry the bacon until crispy. Once the pine nuts are a bit cooler, bash them in a pestle and mortar, take to the table.
To assemble take the deconstructed pesto toppings to the table, sprinkle over and enjoy this gorgeous hearty winter soup ❤