I have given this soup this name because it takes on the true mediterranean theme of throwing in whatever vegetable you have growing in the garden (or in your fridge) at the time. Because I have pasta in this one it is also called ‘Pasta e lenticchie” in Italian. This type of soup is a staple in own household, its inexpensive, covers the five vegetables and a protein rule ( a legume -lentil, and a grain – pasta= protein) and is also warming for the winter months.
Ingredients: Serves 4
3 cloves garlic, chopped ( yep, lots of it to warn off the bugs)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups dried lentils ( canned ones are probably ok too)
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 carrot, grated
1 cup cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 litre good quality vegetable or chicken stock
1 x 400g can peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup little tubular pasta
handful of chopped continental parsley
sea salt and pepper to taste
Put olive oil and garlic in a saucepan and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the cumin seeds and roast to release aromas. Add lentils to the mix and stir well for a few minutes- It will start to sizzle.
Then add tomatoes and stir in. Slowly add the stock bit by bit so as to not cool down the process (you could warm up stock in another small saucepan but I don’t bother). Once this is done add the remaining vegetables.
Bring soup to a boil and add pasta. I used a gluten free type I bought at the Mediterranean Wholesalers in Brunswick. Any pasta will do. I have even put in broken up bits of spaghetti at times and if you want the soup to be really runny, then don’t put pasta at all! We just like the stew like consistency. Add salt and pepper.
Once the pasta is cooked – 10 – 15 minutes. Serve with some fresh parsley. Healthy and nutritious and most importantly delicious!