Yesterday evening it was just myself for dinner. That doesn't happen often and when it does, I usually can't be bothered to cook properly just for myself. I'd planned to have something on toast, but I hadn't got the breadmaker on early enough and it was still whirring away when my tummy started rumbling.
I needed food and fairly quickly. I had no meat or fish readily available and popping out to the shop was out of the question in the dark, damp and cold. So, I would have to make do with what I'd got somehow... I decided soup might be a good idea: I was feeling cold and I could make enough so that I would have some for lunch the next day too.
But what to make? If you didn't realise already, I was feeling lazy and rather tired - I didn't fancy anything that needed blending or an excessive number of ingredients. The BBC Good Food website always comes up trumps in situations such as these, and this recipe for hearty pasta soup seemed ideal. I didn't have all the ingredients - I didn't have any vegetable stock cubes, nor all the ingredients (or energy) to make my own and I didn't even have any chicken stock cubes and the homemade stock I had in the freezer would take forever to thaw. I also didn't have any fresh tortellini, or frozen beans, or fresh basil. A few substitutions and additions and this is what I ended up with.
1tbsp rapeseed oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1l beef stock (from a cube)
400g can plum tomatoes
250g dried pasta spirals
100g fresh runner beans, sliced into chunks
50g frozen peas
handful of curly leaf parsley, chopped
1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Fry the garlic, onions and carrots for about 5 minutes until starting to soften.
2. Add the tinned tomato and stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring.
3. Add the pasta and simmer according to packet instructions (usually about 10 minutes). Add the runner beans as well.
4. A few minutes before the pasta is done, add the frozen peas.
5. Once pasta is cooked through, stir in the parsley.
A versatile, easy (and tasty!) recipe, one that is ideal I think for cooking on a budget or when you don't have much food in the house!