This traditional Neapolitan soup is classic peasant cuisine. Carbohydrate to fill the family 's bellies but made luscious and velvety with the parmesan, fragrant with the basil and colourful and tangy with the touch of tomato.
- Extravirgin olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 2 sticks celery
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
- A parmesan rind or two
- 3/4 litre/1.5 pints vegetable stock
- 6-10 large leaves of basil
- A handful per person (70g, 2 ounces) mixed dried pasta
- A handful of parmesan cheese, grated.
- Wash the carrots and celery, peel the carrot and dice everything.
- Dice the onion.
- Put the diced onion, carrots and celery into a large pot soften on a low flame for 5-10 minutes in a good swirl of olive oil.
- Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and dice them.
- Add the potatoes and the parmesan rind to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring well to avoid sticking.
- Add the tomato concentrate and half the basil leaves. Stir well.
- Add the hot stock. Stir well.
- Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and cook on a brisk flame for 20 minutes.
- Lower the flame, add the pasta and cook on a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. You may need to add extra stock or hot water to keep the pasta covered. The consistency you should be aiming for s thick but soupy. Switch off the flame after 10 minutes.
- Stir in the grated parmesan and the rest of the basil.
- Leave, covered to rest for 2 minutes before serving, with a swirl of olive oil and black pepper.