A perfect lunch: Pasta & Bean soup

If you’re looking for the perfect dish to take to work in the week then look no further. Pasta and bean soup has all of the right nutrients for someone who is training, and the best thing about this dish is that you can make a batch on Sunday that’ll last you all week – so it’s a money saver too! Obviously, if you get bored of repetitive lunches then you can freeze it instead.

Pasta is an ideal dish for runners as it really helps to fill you up. It’s also important to make sure that you’re eating plenty of vegetables throughout the day when you have a strict training plan and that’s where this soup comes in. So, here’s the recipe:

You will need –
– 60ml extra virgin olive oil
– 1 chopped onion
– 2 chopped cloves of garlic
– ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
– 600ml diced vegetables (select your favourites here. I love courgettes, celery and carrots)
– ½ tsp of dried mixed herbs
– a dash of salt and black pepper
– 1 litre of vegetable stock
– 80g dried penne pasta
– 1 x 400g can of drained chickpeas or haricot beans
– 2 fresh bay leaves
– 1 large finely chopped tomato

This dish couldn’t be easier to cook, you simply heat 60ml of the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli flakes and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

Then introduce your vegetables and the dried mixed herbs to the pan. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.

After all of the above has softened it’s time to reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan with a lid and continue to fry for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, or until the vegetables have softened and are pale golden-brown.

Now you add in the stock, pasta, beans, tomato and bay leaves, and bring the mixture to the boil. Return the mixture to a simmer and continue to simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the pasta has absorbed some of the liquid and is soft. And it’s ready to eat!

You can re-heat this dish at work or enjoy straight away with a few sprinkles of cheese.

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