A traditional minestrone soup made with carrots, courgettes, tomatoes, spinach and bacon.
Peel the carrot and the onion and cut into small dice. Cut the celery and courgette into small dice the same size as the carrot. Peel and finely dice the garlic. Chop through the spinach leaves. Remove the rosemary and thyme leaves from their stalks and finely chop.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the lardons and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes before adding a pinch of salt, some black pepper. Add the chopped herbs and the bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute and then add the garlic and the tomato puree. Cook for 1 minute before adding the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 5-6 minutes and then add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Add the courgettes and cook for a further 3 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked and the vegetables are soft, add the spinach and cook for 10 seconds.
Serve the soup with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan.
«For a vegetarian alternative, leave out the lardons and add more vegetables to this simple but tasty soup.»