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Provencal vegetable soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes,
Cooking time: 30 minutes,
Calories: 291 per portion

ingredients

serves 6
250 g (9 oz) courgettes, chopped
100 g (4 oz) leeks, chopped
450 g (1 lb) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
175 g (6 oz) carrots, chopped
450 g (1 lb) onions, chopped
250 g (9 oz) young runner beans
250 g (9 oz) French beans
250 g (9 oz) broad beans, shelled weight
1.2 litres (2 pints) veal or chicken stock
salt and pepper
100 g (4 oz) short-cut macaroni
50 g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated

for the pesto

3 garlic cloves
9 basil sprigs
3 tablespoons olive oil

method

1. Put the vegetables in a large saucepan. Add the veal or chicken stock, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the macaroni and cook for 10-12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Put the garlic and basil in a mortar and pound to a paste. Add the oil, drop by drop.

4. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the pesto.

5. Ladle into a warmed tureen or individual bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Fresh basil must be used for making the pesto. If it is unobtainable, omit the pesto and add 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley to the soup, with the stock, Alternatively, use 2-3 large tablespoons prepared pesto sauce which is available in supermarkets.

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