Minimalist Minestrone

A staple of any British-Italian restaurant’s starter list, this easy-pleaser appeals to anyone and can only be improved by experimentation.  Consider adding whatever’s approaching its best-by date in your fridge (or subtracting whatever you’re too lazy to go to Tesco for).

What You Need:
120g red split lentils
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 courgette, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 tin plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
50g spaghetti
850ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
fresh parsley
salt

Method:

1. Put a little bit of water in the bottom of a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic till soft on a low heat, then add the plum tomatoes and roughly crush them up.

2. Add the courgette, carrot, red pepper, herbs, lentils, and purée.  Mix thoroughly.

3. Turn the heat up till the mixture bubbles, then add the stock and leave to simmer for half an hour.

4.  Break the spaghetti up into inch long pieces and add to the soup.  Leave to cook for another quarter hour then serve with bread and parmesan, after adding the parsley and salt.