This starts off looking and smelling very average, but is magically transformed at the very end.
- 1 litre of water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500g French beans trimmed, washed and chopped
- 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 400g canned tomatoes drained
- 110g spaghetti broken up or other noodles/pasta
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp fresh basil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- half a cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Put the water in a large saucepan, add salt, bring to the boil. Add the beans, potatoes, tomatoes and pepper. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover the pan and cook the vegetables until tender, maybe 20-25 minutes.
- Uncover the pan, add the spaghetti and cook according to type of pasta to reach an al dente stage.
- Meanwhile, pound the garlic and basil together in a mortar if you have one, or whatever technology you use instead. When well mixed add the oil and a couple of tablespoons of the soup stock. Pound away some more until nicely combined.
- When the spaghetti is cooked, stir the basil and garlic into the soup.
Serve and then add Parmesan or offer it as you please. Fresh bread and butter too, I think.