This is a great way to use up any old veg, odd amounts of pasta or cans of beans.
2 tablespoons olive oil
500 grams Italian pork sausage
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 leek, pale section only, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
1 parsnip, peeled, chopped
400-gram tin chopped tomatoes
1.5 litres chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 zucchini, halved lengthways, sliced
120 grams pasta elbows
1 tablespoon brown sugar
390-gram tin cannellini beans
2 tablespoons basil pesto
sea salt and cracked pepper
fresh basil leaves; finely grated parmesan; slices of toasted sourdough
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casing into small meatballs, add to the pan and fry until golden brown. Remove from the saucepan and set aside.
Add the onion, leek, celery and carrot to the saucepan and cook over a low heat until softened. Add the parsnip, chopped tomatoes, stock and bay leaf and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the cooked meatballs, zucchini, pasta and brown sugar and simmer for 7-8 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Add the cannellini beans and basil pesto and heat through. Season with sea salt and cracked pepper.
To serve: Divide the soup among bowls and top with basil leaves and parmesan Serve with toasted sourdough