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The ancestor recipe for this is Jack Monroe's ribollita (from their second book), but I've got lazy with it, and it's drifted back in the direction of minestrone.


This recipe could be: free of tomatoes, meat, or dairy with relative ease. Gluten free if you use appropriate pasta, or toss some GF bread in there as you would for ribollita.
This recipe requires: some chopping; around an hour of time


1 onion, roughly chopped
Some cooking oil
3 cloves of garlic diced/minced
Some meat: I used 100 grams of bacon, but some sausage would work, or bits of chicken or turkey. I think red meat might be odd.
Half a bulb of fennel, roughly diced (or a pinch of fennel seeds)
Some minced chilli (I use 1 tsp sembal oelek)
1 carrot, roughly diced
400g tin of white beans
4 tbsp tomato paste
600 mls stock (ideally, not beef stock)
A couple of cubes of frozen spinach
3 handfuls of dried short pasta
Grated cheddar to serve
Bread to serve

What you do with it:

1. Sautée the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add bacon and fennel. When onions are translucent, add the chilli (and the fennel seeds would go here if you were using seeds instead of fresh) and the carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the beans, the tomato paste, the stock, and the spinach. Bring to the boil. Stir to break up the chunks of spinach
3. Lower heat and cook for at least 10 min.
4. Add the pasta; cook through.
5. Serve topped with cheddar and with crusty bread.

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