In Italy, pre-prepared vegetables for minestrone are sold in packs all year round, the vegetables varying with the time of year. In summer you'd basically get courgette in it.
Makes 4 hearty servings
1 medium onion
1 large clove of garlic
100g bacon bits, lardons, leftover ham, chorizo
1 can of tomatoes
1 can of beans (haricot, cannellini, kidney, chickpeas, whatever)
1 litre boiled water
1 low salt stock cube (optional)
2 medium courgettes
1 handful broken pasta or small pasta for soup (I put 2 handfuls into the soup above to make it into a stew for dinner on a wet summer's night in the South of France )
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
1 tbsp chopped parsley or basil (optional)
Chop the onion and garlic and fry in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
When slightly coloured add the chopped bacon. Grate the courgette and add when the bacon is beginning to brown. Fry until the courgettes begin to colour and/or catch on the bottom. Add the beans, tomatoes, stock cube if using, and enough boiling water to just cover the vegetables. Stir, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the pasta pieces for a further 10 minutes or until soft.
Serve with grated cheddar, or Parmesan if you have any.
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