Pasta and Broad Bean Minestrone
4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups (10 oz) shelled fava beans
5 oz small soup pasta
cracked black pepper and sea salt
1/3 cup shredded basil
8 slices crusty bread
olive oil, extra
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Place the tomatoes and 2 cups of the stock in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture through a sieve and set aside. [This makes an almost pink, foamy liquid if you're using orange and yellow tomatoes as I was - so cool!]
Heat a large saucepan over medium to high heat. Add the oil, onions, celery and bacon and cook for 8 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the tomato mixture, remaining stock and fava beans to the pan and simmer for 12 minutes. Add the pasta, pepper and salt and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the pasta is soft. Stir through the basil.
To serve, drizzle the bread with a little oil. Sprinkle lightly with parmesan and broil until golden. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the parmesan toasts.
*You can use frozen fava (broad) beans but you will need to peel them. Or try edamame or lima beans - those are easy to find in the freezer section.
-Donna Hay, Off the Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry