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Chunky Mediterranean Pasta Soup

Serves 6

This is a gorgeously gutsy soup – definitely a meal in itself. It’s the best thing (apart from a sunny beach holiday) for beating the winter blues!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g (9oz) chorizo, chopped into 1cm (1/2in) chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (or 900g (2lb) fresh tomatoes, peeled (see page 178) and chopped)
  • 900ml (11/2 pints) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped herbs – I like to use
  • a mixture of rosemary, thyme
  • and parsley
  • Pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 250g (9oz) dried pasta, such as orzo
  • or fusilli
  • 150g (5oz) shredded spinach or whole baby spinach leaves
  • To serve:
    • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • Small bowl of Classic Basil Pesto

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the chorizo and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped onion and garlic and season, then sweat over a gentle heat for 7–8 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, stock and herbs, if necessary season again with salt, pepper and a good pinch of sugar, and simmer with the lid  on
  3. for another 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.
  4. Add the pasta and continue to simmer for another 6–10 minutes, stirring regularly or until the pasta is cooked. When you are ready to serve, drop in the spinach and boil for just 1 minute or until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Taste for seasoning.
  6. To serve, ladle the chunky soup into large warm bowls and sprinkle with some finely grated Parmesan and a drizzle of pesto.