This soup is rather like an Italian minestrone. It is based on tomatoes, but with beans instead of pasta. In Italy it is traditional ladled over bread and a green vegetable.

  • 450 g / 1 lb ripe plum tomatoes
  • 225 g / 8 oz ripe yellow tomatoes
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 12 ml / 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato puree (paste)
  • 225 g / 8 oz green courgettes (zucchini), coarsely chopped
  • 225 g / 8 oz yellow courgettes (zucchini), coarsely chopped
  • 3 waxy new potatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • about 1.2 litres / 2 pints / 5 cups chicken stock or water
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp shredded fresh basil
  • 50 g / 2 oz / 3/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Plunge all the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, refresh in cold water, then peel and chop finely. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until softened. Stir in the sun-dried tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, courgettes, diced potatoes, and garlic. Mix well and cook gently for 10 minutes, shaking the pan often.
  2. Pour in the stock or water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, half cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. Add more stock or water if necessary.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil and half the cheese. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot, sprinkled with the remaining cheese.