In the light of today's 17% energy rises, and pressure on incomes, my "Allotment Soup" seems ever more useful and cheap. It uses the kind of lone vegetable that appears in the bottom of the fridge and which would end up in the bin, or matures on a plant in a beginner gardener's patch - or in a patio pot. This would also suit those in the first year of develping an allotment.
It needs one carrot, one potato, one aubergine, a handful of green beans, a couple of tomatoes. It is Italian peasant food. In "good" times they would add tripe, but it is quite delicious without and it is a meal in itself. All ingredients are available in major supermakets like Sainsburys. It is also meat free.
Allotment Soup (serves 2-4)
420g tin of cannelini beans
one carrot, one aubergine, one potato, one leek, handful of sliced green beans
one and a half pints of stock, 50g of vermicelli (pasta for soups) or 50g cooked wheat free pasta, Parmesan, 2tsp dried basil, 3tbsp green pesto (homemade or shop bought) 10g dried porcini mushrooms.
Slice washed aubergine into half inch rings and then quarter. Dice potato and tomatoes, leeks and carrots. Add the tin of cannelini beans to saucepan and add the prepared vegtables and stock. Simmer for 15 ins. Add porcini mushrooms (after soaking them in warm water for 10 mins), vermicelli and basil. Take off from heat and add pesto.
Serve with Parmesan.